Precautions for families?

What should my family be aware of?

Make sure everyone understands how you can get Hepatitis C and how to clean up properly after bleeding or blood spills. This will help protect the whole family from infection.

It's not easy to deal with the fact that there is a risk of passing on a potentially serious illness within a family or friends. So it's worth tackling these topics as gently and supportively as possible with the family member who is diagnosed.

However, it's very important for the whole family to learn as much as they can about Hepatitis C. Doing this together can help you raise and talk about the more sensitive issues and provide support for one another.

How can families and friends stay safe?

Hepatitis C is a blood borne virus, passed on in the main through blood to blood contact. It's quite hard for Hepatitis C to get into someone else's bloodstream to infect them. You can't get Hepatitis C from kisses and cuddles or from sharing food.  However, you do have to be a little more careful around blood, for example, when someone is bleeding.  Make sure all family members and friends know how to clean up blood properly.

At home, any item that can nick or cut  (e.g. scissors, toothbrushes, razor blades, nail clippers), may be a potential source of infection if shared between friends or members of the family and the person who has Hepatitis C.  Of course, this is very unlikely, because both people sharing the item would have to cut themselves for the infected blood to get into their bloodstream.  However, there's no harm in taking extra precautions.  It's a good idea for the person who has Hepatitis C to keep their own items in a box or cup with their name on it, so family, friends or flat mates know not to use them. The same goes for jewellery that pierces the skin such as earrings or nose rings.

Hepatitis C Scotland

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