Actor Charlie Sheen reveals he is living with HIV

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Actor Charlie Sheen has revealed he is living with HIV in an exclusive interview with NBC’s Today show.

Speaking to host Matt Lauer, Sheen said he was diagnosed with the virus four years ago and was making his status public to stop people extorting him.

“I’m here to admit that I am in fact HIV positive.” Sheen said. “I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks, and sub-truths, and very harmful and mercurial stories that are threatening the health of so many others, which couldn’t be further than the truth.”

The actors statement comes after a tabloid paper printed a story sharing his HIV status. The report triggered a wave of news reports discussing the actors personal life and sexual behavior.

Sheen said he was diagnosed four years ago when he sought treatment for repetitive headaches and night sweats. The actor said at first he thought he might have a brain tumour.

“It’s a hard three letters to absorb, it’s a turning point in one’s life” Sheen said of his diagnosis.

The actor said he had been forced to pay millions of dollars to people who threatened to expose his diagnosis to the press.

Sheen shared that on one occasion a sex worker had taken photographs of his anti-retroviral medications in order to black mail him.

Asked by Lauer if was still paying off people Sheen replied “Not after today I’m not.”

The actor said his use of alcohol and drugs had lead to him making bad decisions. Sheen said since he was diagnosed had always declared his status to sexual partners.

The actor said that he hoped that by going public with his HIV status he would reduce stigma around the condition.

“I have a responsibility now to better myself and to help a lot of other people and hopefully with what we’re doing today others will come forward and say, thanks Charlie,” Sheen said.

Learn more about HIV at the WA AIDS Council website.

 

 

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