The hepatitis C virus usually spreads through blood. The most common way that people get it is from injecting drugs -- especially when they share needles or syringes. But it's possible to get the disease through sex.
It's more likely to happen if you or your partner have HIV or another sexually transmitted disease, have rough sex, or have more than one sex partner.
Although genotype tests are not used to diagnose HCV infection, they may be done before treatment begins. Knowing the genotype may help a doctor choose the best treatment plan. You should know your genotype before treatment starts.
The antiviral medicines peginterferon and ribavirin are more likely to work for people who have genotype 2 or 3. These medicines also are used to treat people who have genotypes 5 and 6.
Newer treatments for genotype 1 do not use peginterferon or ribavirin. A combination of sofosbuvir and simeprevir or a single pill containing ledipasvir and sofosbuvir can be used to treat hepatitis C in people who have genotype 1.
If blood tests show that you have responded to antiviral therapy (the virus is not detected in your blood) after 6 months, treatment may be:
Continued for another 6 months, if you are infected with genotype 1.
Stopped, if you are infected with genotype 2 or 3. Prolonging treatment does not seem to provide any more benefit.
The genotype of HCV does not appear to have any effect on the severity of HCV infection or to affect your risk of developing cancer of the liver.
In this article
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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