Get vaccinated against hepatitis B
You can reduce your risk of getting hepatitis B by getting the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine can be given to almost anyone, including infants, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems.
Take steps to prevent hepatitis C
There is no vaccine against hepatitis C, but you can reduce your risk of getting the infection.
- Know the health status of any sexual partner. Do not have unprotected sex unless you are certain that your partner is not infected with the hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, or another sexually transmitted infection. If you don’t know your partner’s health status, use a condom every time you have sex.
- Don’t use illicit IV drugs, but if you do, use a clean needle. Reduce your risk of contracting hepatitis C virus infection by not injecting illicit drugs. But if that’s not an option for you, make sure the needles you use are sterile and don’t share them. Contaminated drug paraphernalia is a common cause of hepatitis C virus infection. Take advantage of needle exchange programs in your community and consider seeking help to overcome your illicit drug use.
- Look for safe and clean stores when you get a piercing or tattoo. Needles that are not properly sterilized can spread the hepatitis C virus. Before getting a piercing or tattoo, research stores in your area and ask staff members about their safety practices. If store employees refuse to answer your questions or don’t take them seriously, that is a sign that the place is not right for you.
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