Hepatitis C is an infectious virus that transmits through contaminated blood. It can lead to liver damage, and until recently was considered a death sentence. With new medications though, it’s something that can be almost eradicated from the body. It can still have some scary consequences. Transmitting Hepatitis C may also be easier than you think.
How Can You Get It?
Go to any crowded public area, and look around. If the people there are under the age of 30, it’s likely you’ll see tattoos and piercings. The popularity and acceptance of those things picked up over the last few years. Unfortunately, they could also bring a risk of transmitting Hepatitis C.
Hepatitis C spreads through contact with infected blood. There are many ways this can happen. Sharing needles or straws to consume drugs, even sharing razors, run the risk of this. It’s also common to contract it if you work in an area where you might come in contact with blood.
A tattooist or a piercer stabs a needle into your skin, which produces blood. Normally, if they’re certified, there’s enough sterilization process in place. Consider a group of 100 tattooed or pierced people though. It’s likely some of them had theirs done in a ‘backyard’ or overseas environment which did not have those processes.
So How Do You Avoid It?
This should go without saying. Don’t get a tattoo or piercing unless you are in a licensed, certified environment. The person doing the tattoo or piercing are putting themselves at risk. You’re also raising your risks though. You don’t know who’s sat in that chair before you or the last time the instruments were sterilized. It may seem like a spontaneous fun idea, but you’re just giving yourself a higher risk of getting Hepatitis C.
There are over 30,000 acute cases of Hepatitis C in the US. When you consider chronic Hepatitis C, that number reaches over 3 million. With figures like that, transmitting Hepatitis C must be taken seriously.