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Disease Control and Prevention Services

Grateful Dead Guitarist Phil Lesh Got Hepatitis C Pre-Discovery

Carrier No. 263 Reported by on Monday, November 17, 2008
Phillip Lesh
Musician Phillip Lesh
First Name: Phillip
Last Name: Lesh
Occupation: Musician
STD(s): Hepatitis C
City: Berkeley
State/Territory: California
Country: United States
Age: 72
Sexual Orientation: Straight
Race: White
Sex: Male
Hair: Gray
Eyes: Brown
Height: 6 ft. 1 inches
Weight: 180 lbs.
Infection Date: Wednesday, December 31, 1986
Disclosure History: Has not failed to notify someone before exposure
Information Source: Published Source

When applying for life insurance in 1986 this founding member of The Grateful Dead tested positive for what his doctor called non-A, non-B Hepatitis (NANBH). This is because Hepatitis C was not a known disease until scientists with Chiron Corporation "discovered" it Christopher Columbus style in 1989.

Lesh has gone on to survive several battles with the disease and has released several new songs since his diagnosis.

Chiron Corporation became the exclusive patent holder of Hepatitis C after paying the CDC $1.9 million in 1990. They now own patent rights to the virus in over 100 countries and have won several patent infringement lawsuits.


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