Wednesday, December 14, 2011

IV User-Worried About HCV ? Check This Out

Worried about the transmission of hepatitis C ?

The Facts

Hepatitis C is nearly 10 times more transmissible by a shared needle than HIV

When you share contaminated syringes or equipment HCV can be transmitted the - first time - or - only time - you use.

In the United States, every year 15,000 people are newly infected with hepatitis C through sharing syringes and contaminated injection equipment.

You Can Get HCV If You.........

Share, or reuse equipment and syringes


Reusing filters can spread Hep C and also cause health problems such as cotton fever.

Tourniquets - Ties




Reusing HCV contaminated cookers could lead to infection even if using sterile syringes

Water cups
If a person draws up water with a used syringe both the water and the cup have been contaminated

Used to clean skin before injecting

To stop bleeding after needle withdrawal

Re-capping a needle may lead to an accidental needle-stick and HCV

I Don't See Any Blood

The amount of blood needed to pass on HCV is small and blood does not have to be visible for it to be infectious. Microscopic amounts of blood could be on the surface where the drugs and equipment are set up or on any one of the pieces of equipment. Used equipment can also cause more abscesses than new sterile equipment.

Crack Pipes

Smoking drugs can lead to open sores, burns or cuts on the lips and in the mouth, which can transfer blood to a pipe. If the pipe is shared, even a speck of blood carrying hepatitis C can transmit the virus. Sharing includes borrowing, lending, passing on, buying, selling, reusing, receiving or taking any equipment that was used by someone else. Some people do not identify risk with the word “sharing” or when reusing involves a close sexual partner (like a boyfriend or girlfriend). Risk exists, even under these circumstances.
Read More Here

Did You Know ?

The hepatitis C virus can be stable for several weeks in syringes

HCV can live in dried blood for up to five days.

*Because the hepatitis C virus can live on surfaces for many days, wash both the work surface and hands with soap and water, and dispose of any newsprint or paper that was used during injection.


If you take ten people who just started using, after one year half will have HCV

After five years, ninety percent will have HCV - or - nine out of ten people.

Using for one year = 50% chance of contracting HCV
Using for five years = 90% chance of contracting HCV

Get Tested

Hepatitis C Testing Facilities by State

The HCCAP HCV Testing Sites map lists only facilities offering free or low cost hepatitis C screening services for those with limited resources due to lack of health insurance, lack of coverage for such testing, and/or limited financial resources.

Click Here

Home Test

Click here to order a FREE Home Access Hepatitis C Test Kit

How Soon Should I Get Tested After Exposure ?

After the exposure (especially if the blood exposure involved another person known to have the hepatitis C virus), it is recommended that testing for the hepatitis C antibody be performed at 4 to 6 months after the exposure OR that testing for the hepatitis C virus itself (a test often called an HCV PCR or hepatitis C viral load test) be performed 4 to 6 weeks after the potential exposure. These tests are done to determine whether or not hepatitis C infection has occurred as a result of the exposure.;

The Facts On HCV

  • Of persons infected with hepatitis C
    • 85% will remain infected for life; of those:
      • 60 - 70% will develop chronic liver disease
      • 10 – 20% will develop cirrhosis (scarring of the liver)
      • 1 – 5% will develop liver cancer
  • Liver failure from chronic hepatitis C is one of the most common reasons for liver transplants.
    • In 2005, about 6,500 liver transplants were performed in the U.S.
    • The number of liver transplants performed per year has been increasing steadily for more than 15 years.
  • Chronic liver disease is the tenth leading cause of death among adults in the U.S., causing approximately 25,000 deaths annually.
    • 40% of deaths from chronic liver disease can be attributed to hepatitis C.
    • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts that deaths due to hepatitis C will double or triple in the next 15 to 20 years.
Remember This

You can get Hep C more than once. You are not immune, even if you got rid of the virus before. You can get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B but there’s no vaccine for Hep C.

What Can You Do ?

Find a needle exchange program
In The United States Click Here
For Canadian Resources, Click Here.
For Mexican Resources, Click Here.

What If ?

Cleaning Syringes with Bleach

Stop Using

Treatments are available to help deal with the powerful hold addiction has over your mind, body and soul.
Combining addiction treatment medications with therapy can ensure success and lead to recovery and a life without drug abuse.

Where To Find Help


Narcotics Anonymous
Provides information about NA and worldwide referrals to local meetings.
8 am - 5pm PST, M-F.


Hotlines and Helplines

Girls and Boys Town National Hotline 1-800-448-3000
Covenant House "9-line" 1-800-999-9999

Help me build a list of hotlines and resources.
Please reply to this post if you a helpful hotline and it will be added.


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