What Are My Options for Treatment?
Treatment for Hepatitis C depends on several factors, including:
- How much virus is in your body (your viral load)
- The genotype or variant of Hep C you have
- If you have liver damage, such as cirrhosis
- What other health conditions you have
- The response to any previous treatments for Hepatitis C
Acute (short-term) Hepatitis C
A majority of people with an acute Hepatitis C infection often do not know they have the virus and therefore do not get treated. However, if a person realizes that they may have been exposed to the virus – like a healthcare worker who gets a needle stick – an acute Hepatitis C infection can be identified early and medication may be recommended.
Doctors sometimes just recommend bed rest, drinking lots of fluids, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding alcohol. You must see your doctor regularly for follow-up blood tests to make sure your body has fully recovered from the virus.
Chronic (long-term) Hepatitis C
If after taking blood tests and a liver biopsy, it shows that you have a chronic Hepatitis C infection with liver damage, you may be treated with a combination of antiviral medications intended to clear the virus from your body.
If the blood tests and liver biopsy shows that you have a chronic Hepatitis C infection but NO damage to your liver, immediate treatment may not be needed.