Spotlight Series on Hepatitis C

"Ask the Experts": What Are the Different Types and Stages of Hepatitis C?

The following is a physician-patient interaction that took place within's "Ask the Experts" forum on hepatitis.

Types and Stages of Hep-C. What are they ?
Feb 23, 2013

What is Type-II, Stage-II? Explain what this means. I have this diagnosis and I have done the Interferon Pagesys treatment. I could not get my counts to come down to undetectable.

Response from Dr. Taylor

The types of hepatitis C refer to the strains, or variations, of the virus. These are called genotypes. I think of these like flavors of ice cream -- chocolate, vanilla, coffee, mango, green tea -- there are different flavors of hep C. The genotype you have comes from the genotype you caught when you caught hep C. The treatments for hep C vary depending on the genotype. Both the particular medications and duration of treatment can be affected by one's genotype. In general we think of genotypes 1 through 6 with subtypes noted by letters, for example 1a 1b 1c. Genotypes are clustered around the world in different ways. For example, in the U.S. 75% of people have type 1. In Europe, more people have genotypes 2 and 3.

Stage refers to how much scarring is in the liver. There are several different staging systems. The higher the number, the more the scarring. I would ask your doctor what staging system she/he uses, for example 1-6 or 1-4.

Return to our full listing of answers to patients' frequently asked questions regarding hepatitis C transmission, testing, management and treatment.

This article was provided by TheBodyPRO.

Reader Comments:

Comment by: Suzy (Florida) Thu., Mar. 27, 2014 at 9:47 am UTC
I was told that I have Hep C markers in my blood, but the disease is not active. I believe that it was contracted through a blood transfusion after a ceasarian section. I supposedly cleared the disease from my body (not sure when) - it somehow resolved on its own. Does this in fact happen to some individuals? How is it possible to clear on its own and not know you even have Hep C? The alternative seems very scary to me (having to go on drugs). Can the disease come back? I don't know about any liver scaring, but I was told not to drink any alcohol ever again (I am not an alcoholic). I am worried about this and can't understand how I didn't know I was ill or for how long? Is the disease contagious in any stage of it? Any answers would be greatly appreciated.
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