Many people don't know the facts about hepatitis C. You may be concerned about things you've heard. Read on to learn what's true about hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and what's not.
Facts about HCV Infection:
- You can still have sex. Hepatitis C can be spread through sex, but this is uncommon. Your partner is safest if you use a latex condom correctly every time you have sex. If you're in a committed relationship, you may not need to change your habits. Talk it over with your partner and do what feels right for both of you.
- Your family members are safe. Hepatitis C can only be spread through contact with infected blood. Touching, kissing, and sharing food are all safe. But sharing anything that may have blood on it, like a toothbrush or razor, is not. Protect yourself by avoiding other people's blood.
- Most people with hepatitis C don't die of it. Avoiding alcohol and taking other steps to protect your liver greatly reduces your chances of having life-threatening liver problems.
- If you are a woman, you can still breastfeed. If you are being treated for hepatitis C, or if your nipples are cracked or bleeding, you should not breastfeed. Otherwise, breastfeeding with hepatitis C is safe.
- You can have hepatitis C and not feel ill. Most people who have hepatitis C don't feel sick or have symptoms. Symptoms are most common in later stages of the disease.