Hepatitis C (Hep C)

  • Hep C is primarily transmitted by injection drug use or birth to an HCV-infected mother.
  • Less common transmission:
    • Sex with an HCV-infected person (an inefficient means of transmission, although HIV-infected men who have sex with men [MSM] have increased risk of sexual transmission).
    • Sharing personal items contaminated with infectious blood, such as razors or toothbrushes.
    • Unregulated tattooing.
    • Receipt of donated blood, blood products, and organs (rare in the United States since blood screening became available in 1992).
    • Needlestick injuries in health-care settings.
    • For some people, hepatitis C is a short-term illness, but for more than half of people who become infected with the hepatitis C virus, it becomes a long-term, chronic infection.
    • There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.