NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 01: Pamela Anderson attends the "Pamela, a love story" NY Special Screening at The Paris Theatre on February 01, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images for Netflix)

Pam Anderson: Hep C Survivor

Once upon a time actress and model Pamela Anderson was a golden girl. A Baywatch beauty, she was a breakout star on the popular TV series. She dated rock stars, graced the covers of magazines.  Life was good, until it wasn’t.

In her new memoir, “Love Pam’ the bombshell drops bombshells. From sexcapades, to Playboy covers, marriage, divorce, sex tapes and her battle and victory over Hepatitis C.

Pam was open about her life-threatening disease. She says she contracted the blood-borne virus after sharing a tattoo needle with her then-husband Tommy Lee.

At the time of her diagnosis, Hep C was an almost certain killer. Pam claims she was given 10 years to live. A liver disease, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) says about 2.4 million people in the United States are living with hepatitis C, and many people are asymptomatic. Meaning they don’t know they have it.

There is now a well-utilized and highly successful treatment for Hep C, but it wasn’t always that way. When Pam announced she had it in 2002, she was the first big star or high profile personality to share such a diagnosis. And there was no real curative options.

Hep C can lead to serious complications including cirrhosis, liver cancer and the need for a liver transplant. Pam lived with the virus for 16 long years. 

Pam was treated and cured of the liver disease by using the drug therapy, Sovaldi. The FDA approved this oral treatment for Hep C in December 2013. At that time it was considered a major medical breakthrough. The pill cures between 80 to 90% of patients in about eight to 24 weeks- when it’s used in combo with another drug called Olysio.

Only thing is this pill cocktail ain’t cheap. At one point, the full treatment course with just one of these pills was more than $100,000.

Recognizing that a drug therapy saved her, Pam continues to be outspoken about advocating for price relief and insurance help, so that everyone who might need the treatment, can get access.

It took a 12-week regimen to rid Pam of the virus, she got the all-clear news in 2015.

Nowadays, baby-boomers are especially at risk; they may have been exposed before widespread screening of blood for the virus began in 1992, or before people knew to take preventive measures.

Among them are rockers Steven Tyler and Keith Richards. Serving as proof, along with Pamela Anderson, that there is life after Hep.

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