“I’m here to admit that I am, in fact, HIV positive,” Sheen said Tuesday morning, confirming he was diagnosed about four years ago. “I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories threatening the health of so many others.”
Recalling how he came to be diagnosed, Sheen said, “It started with … this series of crushing headaches and insane migraines and sweating the bed, completely drenched two or three nights in a row, that I was emergency hospitalized. I thought I had a brain tumor, I thought it was over. After a battery of tests and spinal taps — all of that crap — they walked in the room and said, ‘Boom, here’s what’s going on.'”
Sheen also confirmed that multiple people, including several sexual partners, have been extorting him after learning of his condition. When asked if he’s been paying these people, he responded, “Not after today I’m not. That’s my goal. That’s not my only goal, but I think I released myself from this prison today.” Though Sheen doesn’t know exactly how much money has been taken from him, he estimated that it’s “enough to bring it into the millions.” Off-camera, he confirmed to Lauer that it has been more than $10 million.
As for the connection between his publicized breakdown and his health, Sheen admitted, “I was so depressed by the condition I was in that I was doing a lot of drugs, I was drinking too much and I was making bad decisions.”
Though Sheen said it’s “impossible” that he’s transmitted HIV, either knowingly or unknowingly, to a sexual partner, he did admit to having unprotected sex with two individuals who were “completely warned ahead of time” and under the care of his physician.
“It’s a hard three letters to absorb,” Sheen admitted. “It’s a turning point in one’s life.”
Watch some of Sheen’s emotional interview below:
“Charlie has contracted the HIV virus,” his doctor confirmed during the second half of Sheen’s interview. “He was immediately put on treatment, strong anti-viral drugs which have suppressed the virus. Unfortunately, we don’t have a cure yet. It’s suppressed the virus to the point where he is absolutely healthy from that vantage. My biggest concern for Charlie as a patient is substance abuse and depression from the disease, more than what the HIV virus could do in terms of shortening his life, which it’s not going to. … Charlie does not have AIDS.”
Sheen said he now takes a four-pill cocktail daily and does not do drugs, though he admitted to “still drinking a little bit.” His doctor confessed to fearing that depression and substance abuse could cause Sheen to forget to take his medication.
As for how his condition could impact his career, Sheen said that’s not going to be an issue. “I’m excited to do a show again,” he told Lauer, adding that there’s been “no resistance” from anyone wanting to work with him.
It was quite a different scene from Sheen’s most recent trip to the Today show. The former Two and a Half Men star sat down with NBC’s Jeff Rossen in 2011 to introduce the world to his entourage of live-in ladies — including porn stars and assorted models — known as his “goddesses.”
“These women don’t judge me,” Sheen said of his unconventional housemates. “They don’t judge me. They don’t lead with opinion. They don’t lead with their own needs all the time.”
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