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Hepatitis C (cont.)

What if I'm pregnant and I have hepatitis C?

Hepatitis C can be passed from a mother to her child during pregnancy and during delivery. Of all mothers who have antibodies to hepatitis C virus, approximately 2% transmit the infection to their child. Of mothers who have active hepatitis C virus circulating in their blood during pregnancy, roughly 5% transmit the infection to their baby. This risk of transmission goes up to almost 20% if the mother is co-infected with HIV.

You and your doctor should discuss and decide if you should receive treatment for hepatitis C during your pregnancy.

Can hepatitis C be prevented?

Hepatitis C can be prevented by avoiding close contact with a person who has the hepatitis C virus, and by avoiding situations which can increase your risk of getting hepatitis C. These situations include

  • using injection drug,
  • having multiple sexual partners, and
  • getting tattoos and body piercings.

In the healthcare setting, it means following all procedures for infection control to minimize risks due to needle sticks, hemodialysis, and contaminated equipment. There is no protective vaccination for hepatitis C at this time, although research continues in this area.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/18/2016
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hepatitis C »

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 170 million individuals worldwide are infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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