What Is Genotype 2 Hepatitis C Virus?

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Genotype 2 is one of the six main genotypes of the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Basically, a hepatitis C genotype is simply a certain type of the disease. In the United States, genotype 1 is the most common.

The symptoms of the genotype are basically the same as those associated with the other HCV genotypes. It is also contracted in the same ways — by coming into contact with contaminated blood like in blood transfusions. However, genotype 2, along with genotype 3, is generally easier to treat than genotype 1.

Genotype 2 hepatitis C has traditionally been treated with two drugs: interferon and ribavirin. Interferon is administered via injection. Frequency of these injections varies, usually from one to three times per week. Ribavirin is taken in pill form, usually twice daily. Together, the two drugs make up the usual combination treatment. However, additional medications have become available for hepatitis C such as sofosbuvir. It's important to keep in mind that the specific drug treatment for hepatitis C depends on the genotype, as well as its severity and complications. Therefore, the treatment should be decided through a careful and informed consideration with one's doctor.

Unfortunately, the drugs used to treat genotype 2, as well as other hepatitis C genotypes, can cause side effects. Patients may experience flu-like symptoms and low red or white blood cell counts. Irritability and depression may occur as well.


Hepatitis C treatment generally lasts for about six to 12 months. The length of time required for treatment depends, in part, on which genotype the individual is battling. Following treatment, about 60% of genotype 1 patients still have detectable viral loads. If a person has a detectable viral load, this means that the amount of virus in the blood is enough for a test to detect. Only about 20% of genotype 2 patients still have detectable virus loads after treatment.

If a person with hepatitis C has a detectable viral load following treatment, he or she will likely have to continue using interferon. This is often referred to as maintenance therapy. In such cases, interferon is typically taken at doses that are much lower than those used in initial treatment.

Several factors influence the success of treatment. Individuals with genotype 2 or 3 tend to fare better. Likewise, individuals with lower viral loads and little to no liver damage respond more favorably to treatment. Women, individuals under 40 years of age, and those who abstain from alcohol experience treatment success more frequently as well.


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Post 34

Interferon is not used so much any more. New drugs are out there now as article mentioned. Treatment can last up to 12 weeks with a pill daily. The pills are outrageously expensive.

Post 33

I have just been diagnosed today with type 2 hep! My doctor said if Medicaid won't pay for the pills that I'll have to do injections! Which is the worst of the two?

Post 32

My husband was diagnosed, but had to be treated for cancer first. He has now been in remission for one year, and just started the one injection of interferon a week and the ribavarin -- four pills in the morning and three pills at night and he is so sick. We were just told that in four weeks he has to start a set of pills he will have to take every seven to nine hours.

I am a very worried and am scared for him. I wish he didn't have to go through this, as last year was rough with six rounds of chemo.

Post 31

I was diagnosed with hepC genotype 2b about six years ago, and I was afraid to do the treatment, so I opted out until 4 1/2 months ago when I started peg interferon one injection per week and rivavirin four tablets per day.

I have had a low viral count from the start -- about 70,000 is all, but I wanted the cure so I finally decided to treat. I should have done the treatment a long time ago. It is already undetectable and has continued to be every month since month one. There have been some times when I had bad symptoms, but for the most part it was a whole lot better than I expected it to be

. I think it is because I have the Lord, Jesus Christ, and I am clean and sober and have been for many years. I drink gallons of water every day, and I take melatonin for sleep.

I have used ibuprofen every day to manage body aches and headaches, and it works very well. I could have exercised from the start, but I didn't until later. I can't do jogging or aerobics due to weakness and shortness of breath, but I have found low impact weight training a great help to my treatment and for my mood.

We who have type 2 are fortunate since our type is more curable. I am glad I treated and got this out of my body and my life. My doctor said she prepares patients for the worst, so when it is not so bad, it is tolerable. I also am vegan, and did experience slight anemia one month, so I upped my consumption of iron rich foods and protein, and the next tests showed no anemia. I am glad I did the treatment now. This is going to be a closed chapter for me, and I will be praying for it to be closed for all of you considering treatment or on it presently. May God bless you and cure your hep C too.

Post 30

Oh well I know I'm a little late on my report as I went to the doctor's office for my visit and I got good news at least from the start. I was told about a new medication that was coming out in about six to eight months specifically made for Hep C genotype 2.

This med. would totally eliminate the Interferon and the ribaviron and it's supposed to be a really great treatment without all the side effects.

Now for the bad part: because my numbers were so high the doctor told me that if the numbers or number (640) comes down considerably I could wait. Unfortunately, if it doesn't, I can't afford to wait because at the rate

of cells that are dying off I could potentially get cirrhosis or even cancer in that amount of time.

So again, keep on praying for me those, of you who have been and for everyone who prays or don't, I'll be praying for you.

I had to go and get blood work and they took 14 tubes of blood from me. Well at least I believe the doctor is doing his job. Stay tuned. In about seven days from the date of this letter, I should know if I'll be treated now with the Interferon or if I can wait for the other med to come out about October or November.

Post 29

I just talked to the office of the doctor who is going to treat my Hepatitis C genotype 2. And not to my liking, I heard a date of Feb. 27 before I can get into see him. As I said, not to my liking.

I asked to be notified if there were any cancellations so I could get in earlier. Thank God at this time I'm not feeling sick from it, so I ask keep the prayers coming as I will do the same. God is good. Only He can make a way where there seems to be no way. Praise the Lord, and Lord willing, I'll be back soon.

Post 28

I've had Hep C in my system since about 2000. However, it was inactive at the time and I was told to make sure to check it from time to time.

Well, it's 13 years later (and I won't go through all the details), but I've been diagnosed with Hep C genotype 2. Although I don't know at this time what the viral load is, I was told the inflammation was pretty significant and so at this time I'm waiting for a call for the next appointment, and I'm ready to go. However, I must admit reading some of these comments sure has me thinking -- but not enough not to go through with treatment.

I'm posting this comment for two

reasons. One is to find out if there are any answers to the comments above, since I haven't noticed any. Second, I want to start from the very beginning in hopes that taking you through my treatment from start to finish might take the fear out of those of you who are hesitant about getting treatment for one reason or another. I'm willing and hope to post as much as I can. By that, I mean with some of the posts it looks like there could be some problems with as me feeling really bad, but I don't think that I will let that stop me since I'm looking to get on through to the other side.

I didn't say how, but I'll let you know now I got an in: God. For those of you who believe, pray for me, and for those of you who don't, pray for me anyway and watch what God will do! I thank you and as soon as I start my treatment I will start to post again.

Again, pray for me as I will be praying for all those out there who are not going because of the unknown. I'll be back.

Post 27

I use ecstasy and am an alcoholic. When I was last tested in 2010, I was found to be positive for Hepatitis C. The virus count was 97,500 per ml. I was told by my groups not to go for the treatment. Are they giving me good advice? They said only go if it's over 4,000,000. It can be undetected too. I am more interested in diet control and no alcohol and no drugs at all. Can anyone advise me?

Post 26

How do you get hepatitis 2? My son used drugs but is it from drugs or a sex partner?

Post 25

I was diagnosed with type 2 Hep C two weeks ago, and am waiting for the results of my eye exam prior to treatment (has anyone else needed eye exams?) I hope to start treatment tomorrow. I'll be back to let all know how it goes.

Post 24

Do not fear treatment for HCV. I underwent six months of treatment.

As others have mentioned, the very first Interferon shot is the worst. I was shaking a lot and had to go to bed, it was like the onset of flu. Later shots were not so bad.

The Ribavirin was worse for me. It dried out my skin and I had rashes. I used aqueous cream to make them better.

The first two months of treatment were not too bad at all. The second two months were much worse. It was the side effects. I had headaches and generally felt like crap, but I worked all the way through, apart from the occasional day sick.

The biggest problem for

me was the mood swings. About 40 percent of people on the treatment get these. In the UK, they don't prescribe antidepressants to everyone. It's better if you don't need them.

However, if you notice mood swings, get the anti-depressants fast. At first, me and my family thought they were funny - Dad's in a good mood one minute, angry the next.

Soon, it wasn't funny at all. I was crying all the time for no reason. They put me on the anti-depressants (Citalopram) and that was it - no more mood problems. In fact they made me feel great!

One of the side effects of the treatment is reduced libido, but for me, the Citalopram reversed that. It also makes orgasm harder to achieve. That's good news if you're a man. Our sex life was much improved, so it's not all bad!

By the end of month four, I was coping really well with the treatment, and the last two months were really easy.

Unfortunately, I didn't clear the virus, but I didn't stop drinking completely during the treatment, either. You must lay off the alcohol. Not a drop; it helps the virus to reproduce, as well as putting strain on the liver.

I have been lucky. In my town they are running a trial of a new drug, so I have a second chance, starting next week.

Although I am not looking forward to the treatment, I'm not too worried about it either. I found that the side -effects, while unpleasant, were easy enough to cope with.

This time, it's fully "on the wagon" for me. I am determined to clear the infection this time. Hope you do too.

Post 23

Do you feel better once the virus is gone?

Post 22

Once you are done with treatment, how do you feel?

Post 21

I have had Hep C since at least '94, when it was detected during tests for another ailment. In 2002, I was told I have geno 2 and so, a much better chance to get cured than the geno 1 type. Also, my liver has little scarring (barely level 2 with only a 50,000,000 to 75,000,000 viral load. The results varied most probably due to amount of alcohol consumed). But then I also needed knee replacements, and was advised I could not endure both the Hep C treatment and the bilateral replacements at the same time, so I chose the new knees. I didn't have another opportunity (time, plus insurance coverage, etc.) to take the Hep C treatment until now.

I was told to stop drinking anything at all for three months and then I could begin treatment. I was warned of the side effects, but did not expect them to be this bad. I'm now going into my eighth week., and most of the time I'm really exhausted, short of breath, dizzy, achy all over, even inside. I had to get a quart of blood last week, but did feel way better for a few days afterward. I take the Interferon shot once a week and started out on three capsules of the Rib two times a day. But I've just been reduced to two caps a day to help with the side effects. I think my doc feels okay with the meds reduction since, by the third week of treatment my virus was undetectable and has remained so!

Still, I'm told I must complete the full 24 weeks to have the best chance of totally kicking it. I started my first day of treatment with three caps of the Rib about noon, took the shot about 9 p.m. and the other three caps of Rib around midnight and went to bed. It was a really rough night. It felt more malaria-like than flu-like. I had wild and colorful dreams and lots of sweating too. But the following shot symptoms have not been anywhere near that intense. Still, I suggest trying to sleep through it if you can. Yeah, they told me that it gets better but so far I still feel like crap most of the time. Now they say well, it's not so much that it gets better, as that you know what to expect and learn how to cope with it.

Do drink lots of water. That helps flush the stuff out of your system faster because you still have to keep constantly putting more into your system every day. A lot of it comes out of me through sweating it out every day (I'm already through menopause so it’s not that, but it could be hormonal related. I don't know). This sweating can happen anytime, not just with the shot. Mostly, I'm sweating from my scalp and it could be day or night, outside or inside in air conditioning. It does not matter; the heat just comes on and thoroughly soaks my hair. I sweat all over, but it seems about 80 percent is coming from my head.

I sure hope this therapy works. Some friends tell me I ought to stop now as there are better drugs with fewer side effects and higher cure rates right on the horizon, but I don't think there has been enough follow up on their cure rates yet, and this therapy (although pure hell) seems to be working. Plus, I sure would not want to build up a resistance to these drugs by stopping now and then having to start again from the beginning with maybe a higher dose or an additional drug! So I'm hanging in there. Good luck to you all.

Post 20

I have genotype 2. Low viral load. My immune system almost killed it but after a couple months to see if it would happen, I started interferon three weeks ago. I take the shot on Friday night and have not had any side effects yet. I don't take any pills, just the interferon.

I can't explain not having the side effects unless it is because I wasn't prescribed the ribavirin.

Post 19

you can work and do treatment.

Post 18

I have hep c type 2 and I am uncertain at this point whether I am going to start treatment. Everyone I've talked to suggests to wait because I am a recovering drug addict and the injections and being sick would be a risk to my sobriety.

I'm really confused at this moment as to what to do, so I would appreciate some comments from others with experience.

Post 17

I was told there are two genotypes of HCV and that I had the one that was more difficult to cure. I took the Pegasys Pack and Ribaviran and continued the treatment for six months after I reached the undetectable levels. Six months after discontinuing treatment I had a blood test and found that HCV reared its ugly head again, so the treatment failed. Does anyone know which genotype I most likely have? I was told I have one of two, but when I researched it, I found that there are six.

Post 16

I just found out yesterday that I am genotype 2 with the hep c virus. I'm starting Pegasys and Ribavirin treatment right away.

The doctor suggested I take the Interferon shot on Fridays after work so I have time to recover for work on Monday morning. The more I read up on the side effects the more concerned I become. I am in business management and I don't want the treatment to effect my job life.

I would, however, rather get rid of the virus and get the viral load to an undetectable level. Any advice as to what I can expect during the start of my treatment? Any what I can expect going forward? I'm praying that I will be one of the many who don't experience any side effects.

Post 15

What if you don't get treated. What will happen?

Post 14

I was diagnosed with Type 2 Hep C 15 years ago. At the time, the doctors said success rate with interferon was 10 percent. Yesterday at my annual visit I was told that interferon combined with other drugs had a success rate of 75 percent for women.

Although I am symptom free, I am seriously considering the treatment in April. I am 51 years old and feel very young, healthy and am very active. My main concern is that I will not be able to work.

I am an owner of a very successful small business, and the only salesperson as well. I'm truly blessed to be so busy in this terrible economy. I'm afraid if I cannot work, I

will be out of business, compromising our family's lifestyle (college expenses coming soon, mortgage payments and other necessary expenses).

Since my husband is in the business as well, we would be devastated if I couldn't work, since his job depends on my sales. Is it really possible to maintain a full working week while being so sick? I feel as though the doctors really downplay the side effects. Can someone give me an honest answer on this?

Post 12

I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C type 3 in 2007. I was offered treatment at the time but i refused as i was still an i/v drug user. I have now stopped using drugs and have done for two years. In Jan 2011 i started treatment for Hep C. Before this i felt OK and i wouldn't have known that i had this disease. My treatment consists of interferon 180 mcg and ribavirin 200mg. I have one injection a week and four tablets a day.

The first week i started getting side effects like headaches, lightheadedness, dizziness, no energy and feeling tired, aches and constantly feeling sick. These side effects seem to last between two or three days. I was

told the first injection was the worst and after this i wouldn't feel to bad. I thought i would be able to manage this with no problems.

I am now just starting my week four. My second and third week have been a lot worse than week one. I am getting all of the above side effects plus feeling short of breath. If i were to go into the kitchen to make a cup of tea, i would be out of breath. All these side effects seem to be lasting longer all the time. I have not been too bad with my sleeping but it has been affected. I am also getting rashes/itching mainly elbows,knees and legs.

The worst side effect that i have to put up with is being very short tempered and depressed. I am constantly going mad at my girlfriend and i have told her to leave two or three times already. We have been together for five years and never argued until now. I am breaking down crying all the time,(even at the hospital today) and i have even thought of giving up on life a couple of times already.

I have started getting pains in my lower left back. I went for an ultrasound scan today on my abdomen, I was told things were OK apart from something to do with my spleen. I am waiting for my results to come back, was told two or three weeks.

My son has invited me to my Granddaughter's first birthday in February. I have told him that i don't want to go! That is how hard the depression and lethargy is hitting me. It's not going to be easy. I am a male of 39.

Post 11

I had Hep C since probably 1983 but back then we did not call it Hep C. I was treated with pegysas and ribavirin back in 2003 and have been cured since completing the therapy. I had genotype 2. It was difficult during the therapy but now I'm glad I'm cured. Dallas, TX

Post 10

I have been diagnosed hep c type 2, since the birth of my son at nanaimo bc in 1983. I received tainted blood at the hospital.

The doctor said he wants me to start treatment, but I am moving to Ottawa, Ontario in december and would like to resume the treatment there.

The doctor said i need a general practitioner first. What exactly does the treatment consist of? he keeps telling me about anti depressants, thyroid medication and I'm allergic to his thyroid medication. The only thing i can tolerate are aspirins or tylenol and lenoltec with codeine -- sometimes.

Post 9

I was just told i have type 2. I'm very scared of the outcome of this. i could have had it for year and it is just now showing up. I have called everyone I have slept with over the years but it has not been many.

I hope when the rest of my tests come back that this can be fixed and it's not more than type 2. Not AIDS. thanks for letting me talk. --kemmitjlot

Post 8

Until recently the treatment was three shots a week.

Post 6

I have Hep C genotype 2, and have been taking treatment for two months. I take my shot Friday nights and start feeling pretty miserable (flu-like symptoms) by Saturday afternoon. However I start feeling better by Saturday night. During the week I get tired quickly but other then that I feel OK.

My husband is receiving the same treatment I am. He has definitely experienced more side effects than I have. He has a lot of muscle aches during the week, and often has a hard time sleeping at night. He also takes his shot Friday night, his flu-like symptoms start Saturday evening and go into Sunday. I guess everyone experiences the side effects differently and you won't know what it will be like for you until you start.

Post 5

I am 49 years old and in average shape. a little over a year ago I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C Geno type 2, December of 2008.

I started treatments in January, 2009. I self injected every week and took the ribavirin pills. I would give myself a shot on Friday and the worst part of the side effects would start Saturday afternoon. I would feel like I had the full blown flu until Sunday evening and then would start feeling tolerable.

During the eight months that I was on the medication I never was physically or mentally comfortable. Only a few times did I feel as if the side effects of the medication was intolerable. I had a great

support group which is absolutely necessary, I was able to work for six months but was very limited in my physical and mental activities. I had to take off the last two months.

I was viral free starting the second month but had to continue the medication to adhere to the protocol. After getting off the medication it took one month to feel completely well, however the fever that I had consistently had for eight months went away within two weeks.

Today, I feel great and feel like a cloud was lifted from me. I wish you the best and please know there is nothing special about me, I am not extraordinary, I made it through the treatments and so will you. Thomas W., Dallas, TX.

Post 4

today i was advised that I have Geno 2. I was advised I would not get sick, I would not have to miss work, I would not lose my hair, I would not massive side effects. Are the doctors just trying to console me, or is it true. Just scared and wondering.

Post 3

in 1998 i was diagnosed with hepc geno 3 which is unheard of in the us. it's more common in other countries. anyhow i did the interferon with ribivirn

i did the treatment for 1 year, and i took my injection 3 times a week. it was the toughest year of my life because i endured every side effect there was. But i'm pleased to say as of july 15, 2009 i have been undetected, so i would advise anyone given the chance to do the treatment to do it. it's well worth it. by the way I was never an iv drug user. back before tattoo parlors were the way they are now i was stupid and young and went to a tattoo parlor where sterilization was not a priority.

Post 2

@angeldovep - Drug doses generally vary based on physician recommendations. I've heard of Interferon being prescribed daily, every other day, three times a week, or once a week. It all depends on the severity of the problem. Also, I don't know if the single dosage is always the same. So, for example your one shot could have the same milligrams as three separate (but lower dose) shots. In the end, it's about what the patient's doctor feels is best....

Post 1

I have never heard of taking a shot 3 times a week. I was on treatment and I took 1 shot a week with ribavarin pills 3 in am and 2 in pm which made you pretty darn sick. I couldn't imagine taking a shot 3 times a week and I never hear anyone else doing that either. And yes I have Geno 2 I also took the Liv. 52 during my whole treatment and I believe it is great stuff!!

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