Skip to comments.Aerosmith's Tyler: I Have Hep C
Posted on 09/25/2006 3:46:03 PM PDT by stainlessbanner
Steven Tyler has apparently been living on the edge more than he previously let on.
In an interview with Access Hollywood set to air Tuesday night, Aerosmith's sinewy singer reveals that he has quietly been battling hepatitis C, a blood-borne infection that can potentially lead to fatal liver damage, including cirrhosis or liver cancer.
Per the New York Daily News, the 58-year-old Tyler tells host Nancy O'Dell that he was diagnosed three years ago but had contracted hepatitis C several years earlier without manifesting 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 says, adding that his physician recommended he undergo the strict interferon regiment three years ago when the group took a break. "You know, it really hurt. It was a bad, bad period."
Now, though, the frontman says he's back in the saddle, health-wise.
"It is nonexistent in my bloodstream...where it's like a complete cure," says Tyler.
The virus is often transmitted through dirty needles and typically affects addicts in high numbers. While there is no vaccine or known cure, hepatitis C can be controlled and even reduced in the bloodstream by powerful antiviral drugs such as interferon that strengthen the immune system.
No word on whether the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame vocalist will discuss how he contracted hepatitis C , but he has long history of drug abuse.
Back in the late 1970s, he and Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry were known as the Toxic Twins for their heavy consumption of drugs, including heroin. Their addictions got so bad the Boston band nearly took a permanent vacation from the rock scene two decades ago. But the group's masterminds cleaned themselves up and launched a hugely successful comeback in the late '80s.
Tyler also admits that his health crisis and subsequent treatment put a big strain on his 17-year marriage to fashion designer Teresa Barrick.
"I had a little problem at home, to say the least," the "Cryin' " crooner says on Access. "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."
The couple, who have two teenage children, ended up divorcing last year.
Tyler tells Access he plans to talk more openly about his struggle with hepatitis C in the future to raise public awareness.
"Hepatitis C is the one that, of all the people in this room, at least three have it and don't know it," he says. "It's the silent killer. I may go on Oprah and talk about this. I hope you don't mind me mentioning that."
The musician joins an estimated 4.5 million Americans who suffer from hepatitis C, including fellow celebs Pamela Anderson, Naomi Judd and Larry Hagman.
The disclosure caps a difficult year for the rocker.
In March, Tyler underwent a successful procedure to repair a broken blood vessel on his right vocal cord, forcing Aerosmith to scrap 12 dates in the spring. And one month ago, 54-year-old bassist Tom Hamilton revealed that he's being treated for throat cancer but planned to rejoin the band on the road in the coming weeks.
But Tyler is F.I.N.E. now. He's doing a guest shot Monday as Charlie Sheen's hard-partying neighbor on CBS' Two and a Half Men, and Aerosmith is currently on the Route of All Evil tour with Motley Crue.
The jaunt is in support of Devil's Got a News Disguise, Aerosmith's latest greatest hits compilation arriving in stores on Oct. 10. The band plans to return to the studio to begin work on a new album in February.
Love in an elevator...
Living on the Edge.
Tyler's lucky that he can go through the treatment. In my relative's case, the treatment would be worse than the infection.
I guess the question is how long has he had it. If its been longer than ten years he probably has liver damage.
You wouldn't want to accept a part that, you know, glorifies the past that puts you here or anything...
Seeing as how Tyler is a Bush supporter, he and Charlie could have some very interesting discussions about 9/11.
I'm very sorry about your relative.
Sounds like we have a similiar situation. My 83 year old father has had it for years which they think came from a tranfusion he had 20 years ago during heart bypass surgery. In the past 5 years he has twice undergone treatment for liver cancer and is currently in remission.
My son got HepC in 1985....he had leukemia...he got HepC, so the docs think, from any one of the hundreds of blood transfusions he had over the course of his disease...
Is he really?
We think by-pass was the cause as well, back in the 70's when it was new, and hep C wasn't even known, let alone tested for.
You beat me to it!
Yeah, my wife went through it too. I know what it's all about. I just was making a point that it's not surprising that Tyler has it.
Considering his history.
Not surprising, at all.
Yes, Hep C can be acquired through other means. I know a number of firemen have acquired it; and not through sex nor needles. Contact with the "environment" while saving lives and battling fires. Lost a dear friend to Hep C a year ago.
Aerosmith is not a youthful group. Their first hit (Dream On) dated back to 1973, IIRC. And they played in venues around the Boston area when The Yardbirds toured the states. He's grandpa Tyler.
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