How is Hepatitis C Transmitted or Spread?

Hepatitis C is transmitted or spread when the blood from a Hepatitis C-infected person enters the bloodstream of someone who is not infected. Today, people who share needles or other equipment to inject drugs, can become infected. Before 1992, screening all donated blood and organs for Hepatitis C was not standard in the United States, so the disease was commonly spread or transmitted through blood transfusions and organ transplants.

What are Ways Hepatitis C is Not Spread or Is Hepatitis C Contagious?

Hepatitis C is spread only through exposure to an infected person’s blood. It is not contagious like the common cold. You cannot get, or give, Hepatitis C by:

  • Kissing
  • Hugging
  • Holding hands
  • Casual contact
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Sharing eating utensils
  • Sharing food or drink
  • Breastfeeding (unless nipples are cracked and bleeding)

Click here for more information on how you can prevent the spread or transmission of Hepatitis C.