The goal of hepatitis C treatment is to achieve a sustained virological response (SVR). This is defined as a negative or undetectable hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA test result six months after the end of treatment.
A sustained virological response means the body has cleared the virus—the person will always be antibody positive but does not have any active virus in his or her body. Many doctors consider this to be a cure. However, there is no immunity against HCV and people can be re-infected.
Other goals of therapy are to:
- minimize liver damage and prevent progression to end-stage liver disease
- improve the person’s quality of life
- prevent the spread of HCV to other people by reducing the pool of infection
All people, no matter what the state of their liver disease, should be evaluated for treatment.