Hepatitis B treatment focuses on maintaining comfort and adequate nutrition for acute infections. Chronic infections can be treated with various medications, including antivirals, to reduce progression of cirrhosis and incidence of liver cancer. However, these treatments do not generally eliminate the hepatitis C virus, so treatment is life-long. Vaccination is the most effective prevention tool for hepatitis B and is included in routine childhood vaccination schedules worldwide.
There is no vaccine available for hepatitis C. Treatment options vary depending on hepatitis C virus genotype, viral load, stage of infection, liver damage, and any other health complications. 8-12 weeks of antiviral medications are effective in approximately 90% of cases. However, these medications do not repair any tissue damage that has already occurred. Liver transplantation may be necessary for severe liver damage.