for Veterans and the Public
Alcohol use and viral load
The phrase "viral load" refers to the amount of a virus in the bloodstream. In this case, the virus is hepatitis C.
What does alcohol do to your viral load?
The more drinks a person has per week, the more virus he or she will tend to have. Why?
- Heavy alcohol use weakens the immune system, so the more you drink, the fewer resources you have to fight the hepatitis C virus.
- Alcohol is processed and broken down in the liver, so the harder the liver has to work to process alcohol, the more freedom the virus has to do damage.