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Viral Hepatitis

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FAQ: What are genotypes and what do they mean?

for Veterans and the Public

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What are genotypes and what do they mean?

Viruses have genes, too. The genotype of virus you have can be one of six different groups, or genotypes. Most patients with hepatitis C in the United States have genotype 1a or 1b, but in other parts of the world, other genotypes are more common.

There isn't a "better" or "worse" genotype to have. In the past (when hepatitis C was treated with interferon), genotype 1 was the most difficult to successfully cure but this is no longer the case. All the new direct-acting antiviral medicines work extremely well in treating all genotypes. Sometimes genotype 3 is a little harder to cure, but in general, all genotypes now have extremely high likelihoods of being cured with hepatitis C treatment.