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A person is considered cured considered cured if no virus in that person's blood 6 months after he or she has stopped taking prescribed medicine.
A turning point in finding a cure came when doctors began treating the disease with interferon in the 1990s. The drug boosts the immune system, the body's defense against germs, to help it fight off the hep C virus.
Next came the use of ribavirin, another drug that fights the virus. It was used with interferon to improve treatment. Thanks to this combo, the cure rate jumped from less than 5% in the 1980s to about 50% by the early 2000s.