Charlie Sheen, the Two-and-a-Half-Men star, has confirmed that he is HIV+. The actor has said that he is known about his HIV status for about four years now.
“I am in fact H.I.V.-positive,” Sheen said during a live interview with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” show.
According to Charlie Sheen, antiretroviral drugs have helped him manage his condition. So, why did the actor go public with the information now? Charlie Sheen says that he has paid around USD 10 million to cover-up his secret, but has now found it tiring to do so. He wanted an end “to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me,” he was quoted by The New York Times.
The troubled actor’s success with managing his HIv status shows how far the world has come along in the HIV/AIDS debate. Once considered a death sentence, the viral disease is almost entirely manageable using a combination of drugs.
“He’s an example of how if you have HIV and you take medication so that you are suppressed, you can have a normal life,” said Carlos del Rio, professor of global health and medicine at Emory University and co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research in Atlanta, reports USA Today. “We need to have more people who are suppressed on therapy if we are going to suppress the epidemic.”
Tabloids such as The National Enquirer have been publishing stories about Charlie Sheen’s HIV status, saying that an announcement from the actor could result in several lawsuits from ex-partners.
Sheen has maintained that he has not transmitted the virus to any of his sexual partners.