Hepatitis C is caused by a virus that can permanently damage the liver, leading to cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer. It is passed from one person to another through blood.
Most people who have hepatitis C do not show symptoms, but it can still cause harm if left untreated. The most common reasons people have hepatitis C is because they received a blood transfusion before 1992, or because they have shared drug-use equipment. If you have ever injected drugs, even once, you should get tested for hepatitis C as soon as possible. Hepatitis C can be cured.
To connect with other people searching for help, check out the Hep Free NYC network of patients and providers.
Free and Low-cost Testing and Treatment
These locations offer free and low-cost hepatitis C testing and treatment, as well as patient navigators who can provide support for you throughout the process.
These facilities do not accept walk-in visits. You must call or email to make an appointment.
For more locations in the city offering hepatitis C testing and treatment, search the NYC Health Map.
There is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C. The virus can live outside of the body for weeks, so avoid contact with any item that may have been exposed to blood. The best ways to avoid getting or passing along hepatitis C are to:
Never share drug use equipment, such as needles or syringes. If you snort or inject drugs, only use new, sterile equipment, or equipment that only you have used. If you are using drugs with other people, mark your equipment so that you can keep track of it. Find syringe exchange programs in the city using our NYC Health Map. Learn more about the City’s drug use services that can help you stay safe.
Have protected sex if you don’t know if your partner has hepatitis C. Find free NYC condoms.
Do not share personal care items that could have blood on them, such as razors, clippers or toothbrushes.
Clean blood spills immediately with one part bleach and nine parts water.
The great news is that almost all people with hepatitis C can be treated and cured in less than three months by taking pills. After you have been cured of hepatitis C, there is no more virus in the blood and liver damage will stop and even reverse in some cases. After you have been treated and cured of hepatitis C, you can no longer infect other people.