What can be done to prevent the spread of viral infections?

There is currently no vaccine to prevent HCV infection or HIV/AIDS, but people can reduce the risk of getting or passing on these infections by:

  • Not using drugs. Avoiding drugs reduces the chance of engaging in risky behaviors, like unsafe sex and sharing drug-use equipment.
  • Getting tested. Anyone who injects drugs should get tested for HIV and hepatitis. A person who is infected may look and feel fine for years and may not even be aware of the infection, which is why testing is needed to help prevent the spread of disease.
  • Getting treatment for HBV and HCV and to manage HIV. Doctors can prescribe medicines to help treat HBV and HCV infection and to manage HIV. Anyone with HBV, HCV, or HIV should seek medical care.
  • Getting treatment for a drug problem. Seeking treatment for problematic drug use can help people reduce drug use, related conditions, and other risk behaviors. Drug treatment programs also offer good information about HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, and related diseases. They also provide counseling and testing services and offer referrals for medical treatment.
  • Get vaccinated. There is a vaccine that can be given to prevent HBV infection. See the current HBV recommendations.