Steven Tyler Goes Public with Hepatitis C

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Forget making love in an elevator for a minute, Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler has more pressing matters on his mind:

He's been secretly battling hepatitis C, a serious viral infection of the blood, often associated with used needles, the New York Daily News reports.

Steven Tyler Close Up

In an Access Hollywood interview airing tomorrow night, Tyler, 58, admits that he was diagnosed three years ago, but "I've had hepatitis C for a long time, asymptomatic."

"I've been pretty quiet about this," says the admitted former drug addict. "The band took a break about three years ago. … [My doctor] said now is the time, and it's 11 months of chemotherapy" - actually, interferon, which strengthens the immune system - "so I went on that, and it about killed me."

Tyler is doing better now, though - and still looking healthier than Kate Bosworth.

As Tyler underwent interferon therapy, his marriage of 18 years to fashion designer Teresa Barrick suffered. The couple, who have two children, divorced earlier this year.

"I had a little problem at home, to say the least," he says, "and 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."

About 4.5 million Americans suffer from hepatitis C, which can cause lead to scarring and cirrhosis of the liver. Pamela Anderson is one of them.

And the Aerosmith front man wants to warn the public about such a disease.

"It's the silent killer," Tyler says. "I may go on Oprah and talk about this."

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