Hepatitis C

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The best way to prevent infection with the virus is to understand the risk factors and modify behavior accordingly. Routine screening of blood donors has nearly eliminated the incidence of post-transfusion hepatitis C. Screening for the virus is recommended for donors of organs, tissues, and semen. Safe needle programs may also limit the spread hepatitis C. To protect yourself, avoid sex without a condom and improperly sterilized manicure or body-piercing equipment.

Currently, there is no vaccine available to prevent hepatitis C. Because of its multiple strains and rapid mutation rate, a multivalent vaccine will be required and may take several years to develop and test before it can be routinely used.

Last reviewed on 7/21/09

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