Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., has revealed that he has hepatitis C, a serious liver disease that can lead to fatal complications such as cancer or liver failure.
In recent months, the 55-year-old Johnson has appeared thin and frail. The two-term Atlanta-area congressman said in a statement that he has been undergoing rigorous treatment to eradicate the disease, which was first diagnosed in 1998. He said the treatment is going well and that he has been free of the hepatitis C virus for almost a year.
Johnson said he doesn't know how he contracted the virus, which is spread through contact with infected blood. He said he plans to use his public profile to raise awareness of the disease, which infects some 4 million Americans.