One in five people who contract hepatitis C clear the virus from their system naturally through their immune system. This happens during the first six months of an infection. Those who do not clear the virus naturally are said to have a chronic infection.
People with chronic hepatitis C can access highly effective treatment that can cure the virus in over 90% of cases. The drugs used to treat hepatitis C are taken orally and treatment usually lasts between 8 and 12 weeks.
Treatment for hepatitis C is available across Scotland on the NHS. There are a number of treatments available, and your doctor will assess you to find a suitable option. The assessment process includes a number of factors including looking at what damage the virus has done to your body so far, how the medication may affect any other health conditions you have and your ability to attend regular medical appointments during the treatment.
Different people react differently to the hepatitis C medication with some people experiencing side effects and others not. The most recent medications launched in 2014 have far fewer side effects than treatments previously used.
If you do start treatment and it doesn’t work first time to clear the virus, you’ll be able to talk to your doctor about trying again.
Visit Hepatitis Scotland’s website for more detailed information on treatment.