Public health agency for Snohomish County
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Viral Hepatitis Prevention & Outreach Program
Anyone who has a history of injection drug use (IDU), even if it was one time or years ago, may be at risk for hepatitis and qualify for free services.
Hepatitis C (HCV) A Serious Liver Disease
Hepatitis C is a virus that often silently attacks your liver. Most people infected with the hepatitis C virus (HCV) have no symptoms at all. In fact, most people don't know they have the disease until liver damage shows up, decades later, during routine medical tests.
Hepatitis C is one of five identified hepatitis viruses — the others are A, B, D, and E. All cause the liver to become inflamed, which interferes with its ability to function. Hepatitis C is generally considered to be among the most serious of these viruses. There are vaccines to prevent A & B only.
Over time, if you have a hepatitis C infection, it can lead to liver cancer, liver failure or cirrhosis — irreversible and potentially fatal scarring of the liver. Unlike HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, the hepatitis C virus usually isn't transmitted through sexual contact. Instead, you're more at risk if you're exposed to contaminated blood especially through needles or other equipment (works) shared during drug use.
How HCV is spread
Blood to blood contact spreads HCV. This does not mean just touching someone else’s blood. It means that their infected blood has to get into your bloodstream. Injecting drugs is the main risk factor for infection with HCV because shared needles and works can put infected blood in direct contact with yours.
How HCV is not spread
  • Breast feeding
  • Hugging
  • Kissing
  • Food
  • Water
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Sharing silverware, cups or plates
Know the Risks. Get Tested.
AIDS Outreach Project Syringe Exchange
The free needle exchange program is provided to help stop the spread of HIV and Hep C by exchanging dirty needles for clean ones. You will be provided with one clean needle for each dirty needle that you bring into the exchange.
This program is anonymous and is free of charge. We are also able to provide you with condoms, referrals, HCV and HIV testing.
Contact info for AIDS Outreach Project Syringe Exchange:
Phone: 425.514.9316 or 425.514.9306, Monday – Thursday
Contact Info
Viral Hepatitis Prevention & Outreach Program
3020 Rucker Avenue, Suite 208
Everett, WA 98201
Phone: 425.339.8620
Hours: Tuesday | Wednesday | Friday: 7:00 am - 4:00 pm, Thursdays: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
List of Resources:
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  web
  2. No cost hepatitis C testing and A & B vaccines for those who meet eligibility requirements  file
    Snohomish Health District
  3. Washington State Department of Health (DOH)  web
    Hepatitis Hotline 1.866.917.4HEP

Last Reviewed and updated 1/26/2010