- Public Information
- Information for Healthcare Professionals
- The Hepatitis B and C Network
- Education Resources
- Test your knowledge
How can I prevent passing hepatitis C onto others?
- Never share your toothbrush, razor or other personal grooming items with anyone.
- Clean up your own blood from floors and worksurfaces with undiluted household bleach.
- Carefully clean cuts and wounds and cover with waterproof plaster.
- If you have sexual contact with more than one partner, practice safe sex (use a condom).
- Do not register as an organ donor or donate blood or semen.
Who do I need to tell?
It’s advisable to tell a medical person who may have contact with your blood ( eg doctor, nurse or dentist)
You should discuss informing your sexual partner/s with your healthcare provider.
It is not necessary to tell anyone else.
Try to involve a health professional / counsellor in weighing up the benefits and concerns of telling others. They may be able to meet you together with your loved one to openly discuss Hepatitis C in a supportive environment.
Can I continue to work?
To do medical or nursing work you will need to get advice.
The key to protecting ourselves and others is in being ‘blood aware'.
- Keep sores, cuts and abrasions covered with a clean dressing or plaster.
- If you have a minor injury at work, try to deal with the bleed yourself.
- Use gloves whenever contact with blood is possible.
- Ensure that a good first aid box is available at all times in the work area.
- Ensure that disposable gloves are always available in key work areas.
- Clean surface blood spills with paper towels followed by a detergent wash. Then clean the area with a solution of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Dry the area with clean paper towels.Bag and seal blood-stained articles before placing them in the main bin.
- Adhere to local infection control standard precautions in the healthcare setting.
Where can I go for help?
If you think you could have contacted the Hepatitis C virus at any time in the past you should talk to your GP regarding a simple blood test to see if you have been infected.
If you have been diagnosed with Hepatitis C ask your GP to refer you to the Regional Liver Unit at Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast or to a local Consultant Gastroenterologist who specialises in Hepatitis C.
What can I do to help myself?
- If you inject steroids or drugs never share any equipment.
- If you have sexual contact with more than one partner practice safer sex (use a condom).
- Keep in regular contact with your GP and attend regular health checks.
- Don’t drink any alcohol. Drinking alcohol can speed up the progression of liver disease in people with Hepatitis C.
- Eat a healthy diet, with regular meals, plenty of fruit and vegetables and avoid fatty and sugary foods.
- Take regular exercise as this can help with the tiredness that is associated with Hepatitis C. Ensure that you get adequate rest.
- Try to keep your weight at a healthy level. Being overweight can sometimes cause more damage to the liver.
There are several websites that offer information:
The British liver trust provides information on all forms of liver disease
R.V.H. liver support group
www.rvhliversupportgroup.org Tel: 07737718493
The Hepatitis C trust provides information and support for people with hepatitis C
helpline: 0845 223 4424
UK Hepatitis C resource centre provides information for people with hepatitis C
www.mainliners.org.uk/pages/hepc.html Information line: 0870 242 2467
The Haemophilia Society provides information and support for people living with haemophilia who are concerned about hepatitisC www.haemophilia.org.uk