It only takes a super small amount of blood with Hep C to pass the virus. It is important to know that Hep C can live for about 4 days outside the body, and for several weeks inside a needle and syringe. Hep C has been found in semen and rectal fluid among people living with both Hep C and HIV, even when blood is not present.
Hep C cannot be passed through casual contact like hugging, kissing, sharing toilet seats, sharing utensils, or nursing (chest or breast feeding).
In order for Hep C to be passed, it needs direct access to our bloodstream. It can only get there through:
- Burns and sores
- Fissures (small tears in soft tissues caused by friction)
- A needle injection
We can come into contact with Hep C when doing the following:
- Sharing injection equipment for drugs, hormones, or silicone
- Sharing pipes, straws, and other drug works
- Sharing tattoo or piercing equipment
- Having some kinds of penetrative sex without condoms