Now that you are beginning Stage 4, or the CONTROL stage, taking your medications has probably become second nature to you. Keep at it during this phase of your treatment. Don't forget to get your family or a friend involved in your treatment program. Their support can be just what you need to keep going.
Now that you have been treated for 6 months, your healthcare provider will test your blood for hepatitis C virus RNA. The results of this test will guide your provider in planning the rest of your treatment.
If no virus RNA is detected, your focus will be on making sure that the virus doesn't return at all. The best way to do this is to continue taking your medications as directed by your healthcare provider.
If your levels of virus RNA haven't gone down enough, or have gone up, your provider may stop your treatment. In either case, he or she will talk with you about your individual situation.
Some people think that if the virus isn't found in their blood anymore, missing a couple of the doses here or there won't matter. But remember, you need a constant amount of the medications in your body for your treatment to be most effective. So keep on track with your medications, stay focused on your goal, and take care of yourself.
Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any side effects you may have from your medications, or any other questions you might have. And don't forget to do something nice for yourself tonight as a way of saying 'job well done.'
We'll see you again in 3 months. Until then, keep your eyes on the prize and your soul on the goal.