Prevention is better than cure
21 December 2007
There is no vaccine for hepatitis C and cure is still only possible in about halt of those infected. The What Not To Share campaign, run by The Hepatitis C Trust, encourages people to educate themselves on the dangers of hepatitis C and how to prevent infection.
The campaign has a simple message: donĎt share anything that could come into contact with blood, because even tiny amounts of blood can be infectious and can stay infectious outside the body for possibly weeks. This means that it is not iust any of the paraphernalia involved in intravenous drug-injecting that could be infectious, but even ordinary household articles such as razors, toothbrushes or nail clippers, anything that could cut you or just break the skin enough to cause bleeding.
This also applies to notes or straws used for snorting drugs, especially cocaine because it is so corrosive to the nasal membranes. Perhaps controversially, the sociopolitical artist Tracey Moberly has designed a collection of silver straws, each one with a line of a poem about hepatitis C, that have been incorporated into the campaign. Gemma Peppe at The Hepatitis C Trust explains: "The artwork is a paradox, hard hitting with a powerful message and health warning. The Trust is in no way condoning or encouraging drug-use. What we are saying is that, if you are going to use cocaine, donít share straws, donít contract hepatitis C."