Protecting yourself from hepatitis C

Hep C is passed on from someone with Hep C to someone without Hep C only through blood-to-blood contact. This often happens when people share things that have come in contact with blood. Sharing means re-using, borrowing or buying things that were already used by another person.

Blood may be on:

  • needles, syringes, filters, cookers, acidifiers, alcohol swabs, ties (tourniquets) and water used for preparing and injecting drugs
  • pipes, straws and rolled paper or money used for snorting drugs
  • piercing or tattooing equipment (including ink and ink pots) that has been used and not properly sterilized
  • razors, nail clippers and toothbrushes used by someone else

To prevent Hep C:

  • Use new equipment (including needles, syringes, filters, cookers, swabs and water) each time you inject drugs.
  • Get a tattoo or piercing in a professional studio that uses only sterile equipment, new needles and new ink. It’s important not to share any equipment, including the ink, when tattooing outside of a studio.

Read more:


What is hepatitis C?

How can you get hepatitis C?

Protecting yourself from hepatitis C

Getting tested for hepatitis C


This information was provided by CATIE (Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange).

For more information, contact CATIE at 1.800.263.1638 or

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