Over time, chronic hepatitis C infection damages liver tissue (cirrhosis), which can lead to liver cancer and liver failure. Chronic infections often require antiviral medications to rid the body of the virus and suppress its effects. Acute (short-lived) hepatitis C often causes slight inflammation and no treatment is usually needed, although it does become chronic hepatitis C in 75-85% of cases. Chronic hepatitis C affects the body in more severe ways than other forms of hepatitis because symptoms are rare. Cases are often diagnosed after severe liver damage has occurred.