“You have to ask for the labwork to get the Hep C test.
It could save your life.”
Protect your loved ones
- Family, friends, and others can get hepatitis C virus (HCV) from your blood
- Do not share toothbrushes or razors
- Never share needles
- Cover any bleeding cuts
- Use condoms during sex
- Tell sexual partners about your HCV so they can get checked
- Do not donate blood, semen or organs
- Tell your health care providers that you have HCV
How to protect yourself
- Drinking alcohol can hurt your liver, so it adds to the bad effects of HCV. The best way to protect your liver is to cut out all alcohol. Less safe but better than doing nothing, is to drink a lot less and not every day.
- Cut out fast foods, sodas, juices, desserts, and fatty foods. These foods put fat in the liver and damage it
- Stay away from illegal drugs, sharing needles, and snorting, because you can spread HCV to others and you can get other serious blood infections from them.
- Stop smoking because it hurts you and your liver.
- Check with your health care provider about herbal medicine, since some types of herbal medicine can hurt your liver.
- Check with your health care provider about your prescription pills because some medications may harm the liver.
Live your life!
- HCV is spread by contact with infected blood, so you can still:
- Hug, kiss, and be normal with your family and friends.
- Eat dinner on the same plates as your family
- Have sex with your partner (use condoms and avoid rough sex).
Connect with your doctor
Talk to your health care provider about:
- Understanding HCV infection and how be healthier
- Curing your HCV
- Reducing alcohol or drug use
- Quitting smoking
A case navigator or social worker where you get care may also help you understand about HCV infection. If you do not have insurance, you may still receive care through community health clinics and get cured with HCV medications provided through Pharmaceutical Assistance Programs. These programs offer free or lower-cost medications to people with low-income and without insurance.
If you have insurance, you can ask to be referred to a liver specialist to treat your HCV infection.