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Does hepatitis C cure itself? How? Why? My mom had to get treatment, should she have just waited?

We are glad to help. Hepatitis C is an infection of the liver caused by Hepatitis C virus. When one becomes infected with Hep C virus, they may not have any symptoms and may not even know if they are infected. This is called acute infection stage and could last 6 to eight weeks, or longer. Overtime, the virus may disappear on its own, and the person is no longer infected. This happens in about 25 percent of those who are infected with Hep C virus. So it is possible for our bodies to clear the virus without treatment.

How does this happen? our immune system does an amazing job of identifying any foreign bodies like bacteria’s or viruses and attack, suppress or destroy them. This happens in the case of Hepatitis C infection too and can take about 6 months. If your mom had not cleared the virus after 6 months, she may have been initiated on treatment, which would help in preserving her liver and overall health.

The health care provider / specialist will look to see if there is active infection after 6 months, if so they will check for liver damage. Based on the severity of the liver disease, virus genotype and whether or not the infection has been treated in the past the specialist will help someone decide which drug therapy is best.

There are newer and shorter duration treatment options which are much better tolerated. The person needs to be able to be adherent for 8-12 weeks. Consulting a health care provider will help in keeping your mother healthy and stay virus free. It is important to remember that re-exposure to high-risk situations such as sharing drug use equipment can result in getting reinfected with Hep C virus. So incorporating harm reduction practices would be beneficial. Getting rid of Hep C infection once does not rule out the possibility of getting infected again.