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Monday, December 7, 2009 - 2:25pm

Rep. Hank Johnson Suffers from Hepatitis C

Updated: 5 years ago.
U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, (D-Ga), says he has suffered from hepatitis C for more than a decade. (photo courtesy U.S. House of Representatives)

After months of speculation about his health, Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson of Georgia says he suffers from hepatitis C.

Over the past few months, the Democrat has lost 30 pounds and appeared thin and frail.

On Monday he announced he has been battling the liver disease hepatitis C since he was diagnosed in 1998.

He said his current treatment is going well and that he has been free of the virus for almost a year.

On his website, Johnson wrote Monday, "Since discussing earlier today my ongoing and successful treatment for hepatitis C, my office has received dozens of calls from supporters and well-wishers. I can only hope to convey the sincerity with which I appreciate your kindness. The virus is no longer detectable in my body, I am on the mend, and I am thankful every day for the privilege of serving our community in Congress.”

Johnson represents Georgia's Fourth Congressional District, which includes portions of DeKalb, Rockdale, and Gwinnett counties in metro Atlanta.

Johnson said he doesn't know how he contracted the virus, which is spread through contact with infected blood.

About 4 million Americans have been infected with hepatitis C.

By late Monday, Johnson’s website had several fact sheets about the disease.

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