From the CDC
How is Hepatitis C spread?
Hepatitis C is usually spread when blood from a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus enters the body of someone who is not infected. Today, most people become infected with the Hepatitis C virus by sharing needles or other equipment to inject drugs. Before 1992, when widespread screening of the blood supply began in the United States, Hepatitis C was also commonly spread through blood transfusions and organ transplants.
People can become infected with the Hepatitis C virus during such activities as
Sharing needles, syringes, or other equipment to inject drugs
Needlestick injuries in health care settings
Being born to a mother who has Hepatitis C
Less commonly, a person can also get Hepatitis C virus infection through
Sharing personal care items that may have come in contact with another person’s blood, such as razors or toothbrushes
Having sexual contact with a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus
Can Hepatitis C be spread within a household?
Yes, but this does not occur very often. If Hepatitis C virus is spread within a household, it is most likely a result of direct, through-the-skin exposure to the blood of an infected household member.
What are ways Hepatitis C is not spread?
Hepatitis C virus is not spread by sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, holding hands, coughing, or sneezing. It is also not spread through food or water.
Who is at risk for Hepatitis C?
Some people are at increased risk for Hepatitis C, including:
Current injection drug users (currently the most common way Hepatitis C virus is spread in the United States)
Past injection drug users, including those who injected only one time or many years ago
Recipients of donated blood, blood products, and organs (once a common means of transmission but now rare in the United States since blood screening became available in 1992)
People who received a blood product for clotting problems made before 1987
Hemodialysis patients or persons who spent many years on dialysis for kidney failure
People who received body piercing or tattoos done with non-sterile instruments
People with known exposures to the Hepatitis C virus, such as
Health care workers injured by needlesticks
Recipients of blood or organs from a donor who tested positive for the Hepatitis C virus
Children born to mothers infected with the Hepatitis C virus
Less common risks include:
Having sexual contact with a person who is infected with the Hepatitis C virus
Sharing personal care items, such as razors or toothbrushes, that may have come in contact with the blood of an infected person