How can and can't Hep C be passed?

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