Having lived with hepatitis C for 16 years, Pamela Anderson is understandably thrilled to announce that she's finally cured of the virus.
The former Baywatch star originally contracted hepatitis C — considered the most serious of hepatitis viruses, which cause liver damage — through a tattoo needle she shared with her ex-husband, Tommy Lee. (The virus spreads through contact with contaminated blood.) Because Lee failed to disclose his condition to her, Anderson was left with a virus she thought she would have to deal with for the rest of her life.
Luckily that wasn't the case. After years of keeping the virus at bay, she was prescribed a new FDA-approved drug regimen in August that could beat the virus very quickly — sometimes in as little as a month.
But Sovaldi, the drug that cured Anderson, comes with a notoriously hefty price tag. At $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment or $1,000 for a single pill in the United States, not just anyone can be lucky enough to have the same outcome. Although many have been cured of hepatitis C since the drug first came out in 2013, if it became more easily available in the United States, the 3.2 million people currently living with an active infection could also be cured.
Anderson told the world she's finally free of the ugly disease that she once believed was a "death sentence" in a way only Pamela Anderson could: a nude Instagram post in Cannes, France.
Now that she's found her silver lining, Anderson is telling everyone who's still waiting to afford treatment not to lose hope.
"I pray anyone living with Hep C can qualify or afford treatment. It will be more available soon. I know treatment is hard to get still," she writes on Instagram.