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What happens after being diagnosed with hepatitis C (HCV)?

If you are diagnosed with hepatitis C, don’t worry and don’t be upset. This is a virus that doctors can cure.

The initial screening test used for diagnosis only tells your doctor that you’ve been exposed to the virus. Another test is done to check for the presence of the virus. If that test is positive, it means you have chronic hepatitis C. About 80 to 80% of people exposed will have chronic hepatitis C. Sometimes—in about 15% of patients—the virus clears on its own.

If you test positive for the virus, your doctor will refer you to a doctor that specializes in hepatitis C treatment, such as a gastroenterologist or hepatologist.

More blood tests will be done to determine the type of hepatitis C that you have. There are six different types of hepatitis. Knowing the type helps your doctor determine treatment and dosing.

After testing is complete, your doctor will prescribe treatment. Treatment today is very good. Pills that act directly on the virus help clear it from the body. Medication helps clear the virus 90% of the time or more.

Trinity Health is a Catholic health care organization that acts in accordance with the Catholic tradition and does not condone or support all practices covered in this site. In case of emergency call 911. This site is educational and not a substitute for professional medical advice, always seek the advice of a qualified health care provider.

After being diagnosed with hepatitis C (HCV) people are sent to a gastroenterologist. Depending on the stage of the disease, they may or may not start treatment.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.