- Never share any equipment if injecting drugs
- 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 if possible 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?
- 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
The Hepatitis C Trust provides information and support for people with hepatitis C
Helpline: 0845 223 4424
The Haemophilia Society provides information and support for people living with haemophilia who are concerned about hepatitis C.