The hepatitis C virus is passed from an infected person to another person. The only way to get hepatitis C is to come in contact with an infected person’s blood.
The most common way a person may come in contact with infected blood is by sharing needles with someone infected with hepatitis C, even one time.
Other possible ways to come in contact with infected blood are:
- Having unprotected sex with someone infected with hepatitis C
- Being born to a mother who has hepatitis C
- Sharing personal items that may carry a small amount of infected blood, such as:
- Piercing or tattooing needles/ink
- Manicure or pedicure tools
- Having received blood products for hemophilia before 1987
- Having received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before 1992
- Being accidentally stuck by a needle used by someone infected with hepatitis C
Your risk of getting hepatitis C may also be higher if you have had more than one sex partner in the last 6 months, have a sexually transmitted disease, or have had kidney dialysis.