Hepatitis C (HCV) is one of several viruses which cause inflammation of the liver (viral hepatitis). Most people catch the HCV virus when blood from someone who has it gets into their body, such as:
- getting a body piercing or tattoo at a facility using poor infection control practices;
- syringe or needle sharing;
- having sex with someone who is HCV positive;
- sharing of toothbrushes or razors;
- maternal-fetal transmission;
- healthcare worker-related needle sticks;
- sharing of drug-related equipment used for drug injection.
About 15 to 45 percent of infected people spontaneously clear the HCV within 6 months of infection without any medical treatment. The rest will live with the virus for the rest of their lives and some will develop liver disease.
Around 80% of people with acute hep C won’t experience symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Because the infection causes no symptoms (especially during the early stages), many sufferers don’t know they have it until the virus damages the liver enough to cause the symptoms of liver disease. Then, symptoms may include:
- spider-like blood vessels on the skin;
- bleeding easily;
- slurred speech;
- bruising easily;
- weight loss;
- swelling in the legs;
- fluid buildup in the abdomen;
- itchy skin;
- dark-colored urine;
- yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes;
- poor appetite.
Here Are 13 Famous People With Hep C (HCV):
#1 Natasha Lyonne
She is an American actress who is best known for her roles as Nicky Nichols in ”Orange Is the New Black.”
In 2005, Natasha went to the hospital with a collapsed lung and hepatitis C. Lyonne took some time to recover before returning to the screen.
#2 Larry Hagman
He was an American film and television director, actor, and producer who is best known for playing J.R. Ewing in the television soap opera ”Dallas.”
Hagman was diagnosed with hep C later in his career and had to go through a liver transplant in 1995. On November 23, 2012, Larry died in Dallas, from complications of cancer.
#3 Steven Tyler
He is an American songwriter, musician, singer, actor, who is best known as the lead singer of Aerosmith, a Boston-based rock band.
Tyler was diagnosed with hepatitis C in 2003 and underwent an 11-month-long interferon treatment, that apparently stopped the disease in its tracks.
In 2008, Steven was checked into ”Las Encinas Hospital” in Pasadena to recover from multiple leg surgeries.
#4 David Crosby
He is an American guitarist and singer-songwriter who was a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
After one of his concerts in 1994, he was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with HCV. The doctors said that he required a liver transplant, which he received a few months after the hospital visit.
#5 Natalie Cole
She was an American voice actress, songwriter, singer, and actress who is best known for her Grammy Award-winning album ”Inseparable.”
Natalie found out about her hep C infection after a routine blood test. However, Cole was lucky enough to receive a kidney transplant in 2009. Unfortunately, she died from congestive heart failure (a condition in which the heart can’t pump enough blood) on December 31, 2015, in Los Angeles.
#6 Naomi Judd
She is an American activist, country music singer, and a songwriter. Along with her daughter, Naomi Judd formed the ”The Judds” (the duet released six studio albums) – as the country’s most famous mother-daughter team.
Naomi says that during her time as a nurse she was poked with a dirty needle and ended up with HCV. Since then, Judd also authored over 10 books on such topics as aging, cooking, and her struggles with HCV.
#7 Billy Graham
He is an American retired professional wrestler that presently signed to WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) under a Legends Contract.
Billy contracted HCV through blood contact with his opponents in the ring.
#8 Dusty Hill
He is the keyboardist, bassist, and co-vocalist of the American rock group ZZ Top. His band stopped touring in 2000 because Dusty Hill had HCV.
#9 Pamela Anderson
She is a popular Canadian American television and film actress who first became a star in the cast of the TV show Baywatch. In 1990, Anderson featured in the Playboy magazine as Playmate of the month.
Pamela claims that she contracted HCV after sharing a tattoo needle with her ex-husband Tommy Lee (founding member of Mötley Crüe).
#10 Mickey Mantle
He was an American professional baseball player who played his entire MLB career as a center fielder and first baseman with the New York Yankees.
In addition, Mickey was outspoken about his problems with alcohol, that led to liver cirrhosis (a late stage of scarring of the liver) and flares of hepatitis C.
#11 Anthony Kiedis
He is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and rapper who is the lead singer of the band Red Hot Chili Peppers, an American funk rock band formed in Los Angeles in 1983.
In the 1990s, Anthony was diagnosed with HCV due to intravenous drug use.
#12 Lou Reed
He was an American musician and songwriter, and the lead singer of the Velvet Underground, an American rock band formed in 1964.
Lou died in October 2013 at age 71 due to complications of liver disease and HCV.
#13 Ken Watanabe
Ken is a Japanese actor who is best known for his roles in Inception, The Last Samurai, and Batman Begins.
In 1989, Watanabe was successful in defeating the blood cancer, but, he contracted HCV from a blood transfusion which he received during the blood cancer treatment.