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Testing, treating and reducing risk of hepatitis

If you think you’re at risk for hepatitis infection, talk to your healthcare provider about getting tested. A blood test is usually done to see if you have been exposed to the virus. Women who are pregnant or trying to become pregnant should get tested for hepatitis.

Get treated for hepatitis infection.

There are treatments for hepatitis. Treating long-lasting hepatitis B or C infection can reduce the amount of the virus in a person, which may lower the risk of liver cancer.

How to reduce your risk

Get vaccinated.

There is a vaccine that can protect you against hepatitis B. The vaccine is recommended for all children and for adults who are at increased risk for infection, such as healthcare workers, injection drug users or those travelling to a high-risk country (like Africa or parts of Asia). There is currently no vaccine for hepatitis C.

All provinces and territories offer publicly funded vaccine programs for children and teens. The age when children and teens are offered the hepatitis B vaccine varies by province or territory.

Practise safer sex.

If you are sexually active, use a condom and other barriers safely to help protect against hepatitis B and hepatitis C, as well as other sexually transmitted infections. image of a person getting a tattoo

Protect yourself from infected blood or body fluids.

Don’t share needles or other drug-use equipment. If you use intravenous drugs, take part in a needle exchange program.

Don’t share personal care articles, such as razors, scissors, nail clippers or toothbrushes, with an infected person.

If you get a tattoo, body piercing or acupuncture, make sure all equipment is clean and sterile. Needles should always be new, not used, and never homemade.

Wear latex gloves whenever you might come into contact with someone else’s blood or body fluids.

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