Is there a vaccine?
Unfortunately, there is currently no vaccine for this virus.
What are the long-term effects?
About 85% of people who have been infected become chronic carriers. That means the virus stays in their body for years. Chronic carriers can potentially develop cirrhosis (scaring) of the liver and even liver cancer. There is treatment that stops Hepatitis C from damaging the liver about 40% of the time, but it can be accompanied with serious side effects. It is important to see your doctor and get tested if you think you may have come into contact to the virus, because your treatment options are better the earlier you begin them.
How is it transmitted?
Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood. How?
• Shared Needles and works (spoons and straws included);
• Shared razors and tooth brushes, which may contain blood;
• Shared and non-sterilized equipment for tattooing and piercing.
If you use injection drugs, whether it is heroin, steroids, hormones, or another substance, sharing your works puts yourself and others at a very high risk of contracting Hepatitis C.
What about sex?
Very few people become infected with Hepatitis C through sex, but it is possible. Approximately 1% to 3% of Hepatitis C infections are transmitted through sex, although some recent studies indicate it may be as high as 10%. This risk is higher if the mucous membranes are especially irritated (i.e., after a douche, an enema, or fisting) before unprotected penetration. Irritation and friction mean the skin can tear more easily, opening up the bloodstream to infection via these tiny cuts.