Hepatitis C a disease of the liver. Hepatitis C is a huge concern for people that use drugs or are in recovery from substance misuse. Too many people do not know the basics about Hepatitis! So here are the basics:
Hepatitis just means: Inflammation of the liver but when you hear about hepatitis and drug use people are probably talking about viral hepatitis. That is hepatitis with a letter behind it! Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C….
Hepatitis C is a sturdy virus that stays alive outside of the body! NEVER SHARE YOUR SYRINGES OR SUPPLIES!! Supplies include: cottons, cookers, tourniquets, water, spoon, all of your equipment could potentially be contaminated with the HCV virus. NEVER SHARE ANYTHING.
It is important to be vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B because you can get very sick if you have HCV and get either A or B. There are crazy high rates of HCV in injection drug using populations. Some of the stats suggest that up to 75% of injection drug users IDU’s are infected with hepatitis C, and they become infected in the first two years of injection.
Get Vaccinated for Heaptitis A and B at your local health department. There is no vaccine for C but there is some very effective treatment! These days the treatment is 90% effective! (Great News)
HEPATITIS A- A stands for ASS- you get HAV from getting poop in your mouth! So you could get Hepatitis A from tossin’ salads or eating food prepared by someone who did not wash their hands after a trip to the bathroom! Get a vaccine at your local health department!
HEPATITIS B- B Stands for Booty- you get HBV from sex! Cum and blood! There is a vaccine for B. You can get one at your local health department if you do not have one!
HEPATITIS C- C Stands for cooker HCV- you get HCV from blood but it stays alive up to 2 weeks highly infectious so your cookers are potentially dangerous. Some research shows that sharing a cooker that is used by more than one person is just as dangerous as sharing a syringe.
Don’t share crack pipes, don’t share snorting supplies, don’t share syringes cottons, cookers, don’t share anything that could be contaminated with blood.