Hepatitis C Transmission

Hepatitis C transmission represents different possibilities how Hepatitis C virus can enter your blood stream.

hepatitis c transmission

Intravenous drug use

The dominant way of Hepatitis C transmission comes from reused infectious needles in illegal drug use.  In developed countries, more than 60% of Hepatitis C transmission is done in such way. The frequency of Hep C patient in illegal drug users is very high.Similar is seen in prisoner population, where there are 10 to 20 times as many Hep C patients as in the rest of population, primarily because of intravenous drug use and tattoos made with non-sterile needles. 

hepatitis c transmission

Blood transfusion

Second most common way of Hepatitis C transmission is by blood transfusion or organ transplant. Before 1990, when testing donor blood for Hep C was non-existent the probability of transmission was 1 again 200 units of blood. Nowadays all the blood is tested for Hepatitis C and the likelihood of getting Hep C with blood transfusion is 1 against 10.000. The test takes from 11 to 70 days. It is, however, important to not that because of the high cost of Hep C testing some countries choose not to test donor blood for Hepatitis C.

Sexual transmission

There are different views on how and if Hepatitis C transmission can be done with sexual intercourse. The probability of transmission, nonetheless, is argued to be higher for HIV patients. Needless to stress, wearing a condom is highly recommended to avoid the spread of Hep C.

Tattoos and Piercings

Similar as in the case with intravenous drug use, the use of non-sterile needles in creating a tattoo or piercing can be a cause of Hepatitis C transmission.

Mother-to-Baby Transmission

Hepatitis C transmission can also occur between pregnant mother and the baby. The transmission occurs in less than 10% of cases.

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