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Six major strains (genotypes) of the
hepatitis C virus (HCV) cause infection. You may be
infected with more than one genotype at a time.
Genotype testing is done with a blood test.
Although genotype tests are not used to diagnose HCV infection,
they may be done before treatment begins. Knowing the genotype may help a
doctor choose the best treatment plan. You should know your genotype before
Antiviral medicines are more likely to work for people who have
genotype 2 or 3.
If blood tests show that you have responded to antiviral therapy
(the virus is not detected in your blood) after 6 months, treatment may
The genotype of HCV does not appear to have any effect on the
severity of HCV infection or to affect your risk of developing cancer of the
liver (hepatocellular carcinoma).
July 6, 2011
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & W. Thomas London, MD - Hepatology
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