Few viruses have any specific treatment, but there are effective treatments for herpes viruses and for hepatitis C, as Merck explains. The treatment for hepatitis C has a cure rate of 90 percent to 100 percent and takes 12 weeks, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reports.
A very limited number of viruses have known cures, according to the National Institutes of Health. Some antiviral medications are effective long-term treatments, such as those used to treat HIV. Other antiviral treatments must be administered shortly after infection, such as those for rabies and hepatitis B, and are not used in the long term, as Merck indicates. The most effective way to prevent viral infection is through a pre-infection vaccine. Many viruses, such as HPV, viral meningitis and polio, have extremely effective vaccines.