Taking Action

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.