Charlie Sheen reveals he is HIV positive: 'It's a hard three letters to absorb'
Charlie Sheen has disclosed that he is HIV positive, in a television interview that followed weeks of speculation about his condition.
“I am here to admit that I am in fact HIV positive and I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks, of sub-truths – very harmful … stories that are threatening the health of so many others,” the actor told NBC’s Today show on Tuesday.
He said he had learned about the diagnosis “roughly four years ago”, adding: “It’s a hard three letters to absorb.”
Asked whether he had transmitted HIV to anyone since his diagnosis, Sheen said: “Impossible.” He also said he was “not entirely” aware of how he contracted the virus. Sheen’s doctor, Robert Huizenga, told the program the actor did not have Aids.
Sheen claimed that people who knew his HIV-positive status had extorted money from him to keep it a secret.
And the Hollywood star said he would stop paying them now that his HIV status was public, adding: “I release myself from this prison today.”
The actor said one incident of extortion took place when a prostitute took a picture of his antiretroviral medication and threatened to sell it.
Today Show host Matt Lauer asked Sheen why he continued to bring people including prostitutes to his home even though they were threatening him. Sheen said it was because he was depressed.
He said that the period in March 2011 when he appeared on television and online making absurd claims and going on long tirades was not tied to his HIV status. “I wish I could blame it on that – that was more roid rage,” he said.
Sheen said that since learning that he was HIV positive, he had told all of his sexual partners about his status. He revealed that he had had unprotected sex with two people since then and that they were both under the care of his doctor.