But Hepatitis C may be doing great harm to your liver, even if you don't feel sick. If you could have been exposed in any of the ways described below, get tested!!
Hepatitis C is transmitted or spread through direct, blood-to-blood contact. The most common ways people are infected are:
* By injecting illegal or "street" drugs (even just once!);
* Through receiving blood transfusions, dialysis, and organ transplants before 1992, or blood clotting factors before 1989; and
* Healthcare workers are infected through needle stick and related exposures.
Less common ways of becoming infected include:
Lax medical practices. These include the reuse of syringes and other injection equipment, and incomplete or improper sterilization of endoscopy or other diagnostic tools. Outpatient clinics and other medical facilities have caused outbreaks of Hepatitis B and C and HIV/AIDS due to poor medical practices.
Lax tattooing and body piercing practices. Tattoo and other "body art" facilities that reuse pots of ink, needles and other implements, or fail to properly sterilize/sanitize equipment and surfaces, have transmitted Hepatitis B and C and HIV/AIDS.
Sexual contact and household contact. Hepatitis C is not commonly transmitted through sexual contact or household contact. But sexual activity that may involve injury and the transfer of even small amounts of blood from one partner to another can cause transmission of the virus. Household contact, such as sharing toothbrushes, razors and other items that may contain even trace amounts of blood can cause transmission of the virus. Some doctors suspect that rolled paper, used and shared to inhale cocaine and other drugs, could transmit the Hepatits C virus.
Protect yourself from the Hepatitis C virus, and other blood borne infections.
If you suspect that you may have been exposed to the Hepatitis C virus, ask your doctor for a simple HCV test. If you don't have a doctor, go to a public health clinic in your area and ask for a Hepatitis C test. This test is not routinely performed...you need to ask!
Contact us if you have questions!