Risks of hepatitis C

Learn about the risks of hepatitis C and who is most at risk.

On this page

What are the risks of getting hepatitis C?

You are at risk for hepatitis C if you:

  • share contaminated drug paraphernalia, such as:
    • pipes
    • straws
    • spoons
    • needles
    • cookers
  • receive body services that use unclean tools or work practices, such as:
    • tattooing
    • acupuncture
    • body piercing
  • share personal care items with someone with the disease, such as:
    • razors
    • scissors
    • nail clippers
    • toothbrushes
  • have unprotected sex involving blood contact with someone who has hepatitis C

Who is most at risk?

Your risk is higher if you:

  • were born to a mother with hepatitis C
  • are exposed to blood or blood products in regions where:
    • hepatitis C is widespread
    • disease control measures are not in place
  • were born or live in a region where hepatitis C is widespread, such as:
    • Eastern Europe
    • Sub-Saharan Africa
    • Central, East and South Asia
    • North Africa and the Middle East
    • Oceania, which includes Australia and some islands in the Central and South Pacific Ocean
  • received blood, blood products or an organ transplant in Canada before 1992
    • all blood and blood products used in Canada are now tested for hepatitis C, so this is now extremely rare
  • have a job where you can be accidentally:
    • poked by a needle or syringe used by someone with hepatitis C
    • exposed to infected bodily fluids, such as semen or vaginal fluid
Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: