|Confused about hygiene precautions in caring for HIV/HEP C positive Mom
Jan 18, 2001
Dear Dr. Dieterich,
I have recently come to take care of my mother who is both HIV and Hepatitis C positive. Her condition has recently worsened significantly and, as her primary caretaker at the moment, I feel uninformed about the modes of transmission of Hepatitis C. I am concerned about cleaning up after her and am not sure how far I need to take the hygiene precautions. I do the basics such as washing hands, not sharing toothbrushes, sanitizing the bathroom and kitchen, etc., etc., etc. But I am specifically concerned about nasal discharge, diarrhea, and saliva. Is is unsafe to share a glass with her? Is it unsafe to be washing my dishes with the same sponge I use to wash her dishes? Do I need to sanitize the bathtub every time I bathe? Again, I understand the precautions necessary with HIV, but I can't seem to find any solid information about the modes of transmission of Hepatitis C. Thank you for your time and consideration. SN
Response from Dr. Dieterich
Hepatitis C is really a blood transmitted infection. So it sounds like you are doing fine. It is not in saliva or other secretions. Wear gloves if you are dealing with any thing with blood on it, but otherwise, keep up the good work! You are a really good person to take care of her! DTD
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