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Pamela Anderson

Hepatitis C

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Updated December 14, 2009

Pamela Anderson
Getty Images/Kristian Dowling
When Pamela Anderson publicly disclosed her diagnosis with hepatitis C in 2002, it made many women rethink getting a tattoo. The actress and Playboy centerfold blamed her infection on a shared tattoo needle with former husband, rocker Tommy Lee. Anderson claimed that Lee had suffered from Hep C and never shared the information with her -- an allegation that Lee has denied. In fact, Tommy Lee says he doesn't even have hepatitis C.

Aside from the "he said, she said" routine, Anderson's announcement brought major awareness to a disease that was not well-publicized or discussed in the past. Sure, the dangers of sharing needles and unprotected sex were known, but weren't as heavily noted and talked about among young people. Today, people are more cautious about getting tattoos, ensuring new needles are used when they go in for a session at a tattoo parlor.

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