BEIJING, Sept. 27 (Xinhuanet) — Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler has confessed he is a victim of hepatitis C and has secretly fighting it for the past three years.
In an interview with Access Hollywood set to air Tuesday night, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame vocalist said he was diagnosed with hepatitis C three years ago after having the illness for a long time without any symptoms. He subsequently endured a year’s worth of pills and injections containing the antiviral drug interferon.
"I’ve been pretty quiet about this," Tyler said. "I’ve had hepatitis C for a long time, asymptomatic. And I talked to my doctor … and he said now is the time and it’s 11 months of chemotherapy. So I went on that and it about killed me."
Now the 58-year-old rock legend said the infection is gone from his bloodstream after undergoing the treatment.
"It is nonexistent in my bloodstream as we speak, so it’s one of those few miracles in doctoring where it’s like a complete cure," says Tyler.
Hepatitis C is a blood-borne liver disease that can potentially lead to fatal liver damage, including cirrhosis or liver cancer. Many people who have hepatitis C show no symptoms of the disease.
Tyler also says his health crisis and subsequent treatment was hard in his 17-year marriage to fashion designer Teresa Barrick, whom he split from earlier this year.
"I had a little problem at home, to say the least," says Tyler. "I would run upstairs at night, you know, to put the kids asleep and wake up at 3 in the morning with a nosebleed–you know, just passed out from the interferon, the treatment. It’s a shot and pills and all of that. But the good news is I stood the test of time."
After keeping quiet about the disease for so long, Tyler says he’d like to share his knowledge about it with others.
"I may go on Oprah and talk about this," he says. "I mean you know it’s just one of those things… it’s one of those things people don’t speak about it, but it is treatable."
According to 2004 estimates by the Centers for Disease Control, 3.2 million people have the chronic infection, including celebrities Pamela Anderson, Naomi Judd and Larry Hagman.Enditem