Charlie Sheen announced this morning on the “Today” show that he is HIV-positive.
Sheen told “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer that he has known about contracting the virus for four years.
“I’m here to admit that I am HIV-positive,” Sheen said. “And I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks, subtruths and very harmful, mercurial stories that are threatening the health of many others, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
The confession follows a slew of tabloid stories that reported Sheen’s HIV status including the “National Enquirer” and “TMZ.”
Sheen has stated that all of his sexual partners, including paid escorts, were aware of his HIV-positive status when they engaged in sexual activity with him. He claims that it is “impossible” that any of his sexual partners contracted the virus from him.
Sheen, who has publicly stated that he has a past with prostitutes and substance abuse issues, also revealed that he has paid people in exchange for their silence on the matter.
Sheen’s doctor, UCLA’s Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine Dr. Robert Huizenga appeared on “Today” with Sheen. He told Lauer that the virus now cannot be detected in Sheen’s blood and that Sheen does not have AIDS.
“AIDS is a condition when the HIV virus markedly suppresses the immune system and you’re susceptible to rare, difficult cancers and infections, “ Huizenga said. “Charlie has none of those. He is healthy. He does not have AIDS.”
GLAAD released a response to Sheen’s confession this morning.
“To eradicate HIV once and for all, we must first eradicate the stigma attached to it,” said GLAAD CEO and President Sarah Kate Ellis. “Stigma prevents people from getting tested, it prevents people from getting treated, and it can contribute to increased rates of infection. In this new era of prevention and treatment, including methods like PrEP, the media must take this opportunity to end the stigma and shine light on the stories of more than 1.2 million Americans living full lives with HIV today.”
Sheen continued in the interview that he wants his public admission to help end the stigma against HIV.
“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.