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Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Singer Faithfull has hepatitis C
Marianne Faithfull
Faithfull became a household name in the 1960s
Singer Marianne Faithfull has revealed she was diagnosed with the hepatitis C virus in the 1990s.

Faithfull, 60, let slip that she had the virus while discussing her recent treatment for breast cancer on ITV1's This Morning programme.

"I found out about 12 years ago," she told host Phillip Schofield, adding she had received treatment at the time.

Hepatitis C is a virus carried in the blood that, if left untreated, can cause fatal liver problems.

There is currently no vaccine for the virus, which is has sometimes been called the silent epidemic.

'Incredibly lucky'

Faithfull, a former heroin addict, made no link between her reckless youth and her having the virus.

However, she admitted she had taken "a lot of risks". "I was incredibly lucky," she said. "I shouldn't be alive, I know that."

"Life has become much more precious to me and my health has become much more precious to me."

Hepatitis C is usually transmitted through blood-to-blood contact and can lay dormant for years.

In an interview given two months before her death, Body Shop founder Dame Anita Roddick revealed she had been infected from a blood transfusion in 1971.

The gravelly-voiced Faithfull first found fame in the 1960s as the muse of Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger.

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