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What Do the Terms Relapse and Nonresponse Mean With Hepatitis C?

With hepatitis C, what is the difference between "relapse" and "nonresponse"?

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In order to determine how well you are responding to treatment, your healthcare provider will order blood tests to measure the amount of virus in your bloodstream. Ideally, that amount will go down as treatment progresses.

Hepatitis C treatment is considered successful if you achieve what is known as a sustained virologic response, which means that no virus is detected in your bloodstream by the end of treatment, and again six months after treatment ends. People who achieve a sustained virologic response have an excellent chance of remaining virus-free in the long-term.

A relapse means that your viral load became undetectable before treatment ended, but was detectable again within six months of stopping treatment. A nonresponse, on the other hand, means that the virus continued to be detectable in your bloodstream throughout treatment.
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