Does Hepatitis C Go Away Without Treatment?
Last updated: March 2023
In approximately 20% of cases, patients with hepatitis C (heo C) cleared the virus without treatment. However, the majority of the time, hep C becomes a chronic infection.1 Its a very hardy virus. If you have ever tested positive for the virus you will need to be treated with the new antivirals. Notice I said "tested positive for the VIRUS". Some people test positive for the antibody but have cleared the virus.
Questions about spontaneous hepatitis C clearance or treatment?
Misinformation about hepatitis C cures
There is a lot of confusion about hep C and its ability to "go away". I think this misconception happens for a couple of reasons.
- Many people don't feel sick when they have the virus and therefore assume it is in remission or dormant.
- There is a small percentage of people who clear the virus spontaneously on their own, without treatment. The other 80% go on to host the virus and need treatment.
I have heard a lot of people say that they are in remission or their doctor told them it is dormant for now. But the truth is that either you have the virus and need treatment or not. Even providers aren't always clear on the virus, or they share information regarding hep C poorly. Hep C is a very hardy virus that cannot be treated with herbs or natural medicine. It doesn't go into remission.
Understand your diagnosis and test results
It's important to understand your diagnosis, including the details regarding treatment. It's a good idea to always ask for a copy of your labs so you can have them on hand to research or share with someone who can explain the virus and its presence.
I had one child test positive and we went for over a year thinking he was carrying this potentially life-threatening illness. His hep C cleared without treatment, but his doctor never even ordered that second confirmatory test. This is a pretty basic part of hep C testing our doctor should have known about and yet he didn't. So be clear. Ask questions. If you find your doctor is lacking in resources and details, take your labs to someone who can decipher the numbers and names.