Actor Charlie Sheen announced on November 17, 2015 that he is HIV positive on “The Today Show” with Matt Lauer.
Sheen has been known to live in the fast lane of the celebrity life. Partying, drugs, women, he has done it all and now it seems his over the top life has met some serious consequences.
The “Anger Management” star reported he went on “The Today Show” because he was being blackmailed by various people who knew he had HIV and were being paid millions by him to keep quiet. He was hoping his reveal on the show would put an end to the blackmailing, considering now the whole world knows.
“I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me, threatening the health of so many others that couldn’t be further from the truth,” he says in the interview.
Sheen says he was diagnosed with HIV four years ago after severe headaches and night sweats, but he does not know who he got it from. He does admit to several prostitute visits, but denies any rumor of contracting the disease through sharing needles (drug use). He said he has informed every single sexual partner of his sickness and claims that the rumor of him spreading it is “impossible.”
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus, commonly known as HIV, attacks your white blood cells, which fight against infections and disease in your body. As a result to HIV infecting your system, it leaves your immune system and your body vulnerable to severe illness and could lead to AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
With Sheen was Dr. Robert Huizenga, the doctor who originally gave him his diagnosis. He stated that although the actor does have HIV, he does not have AIDS, which means that the virus has been contained and well treated for the past four years. This explains why Sheen looks so healthy, despite being sick.
HIV has no cure, but with a change in lifestyle and regular medicine intake, patients diagnosed with HIV can live a long life. The key to keeping the virus from developing into AIDS is by staying on medication everyday. The medicine keeps the virus from replicating. If the virus cannot duplicate, it cannot develop a resistance, so it cannot develop into AIDS. Sheen has been put on a treatment of antiviral drugs like this to suppress the virus.
“It’s shocking when you see celebrities like [Charlie Sheen] get such life-threatening disease like HIV. I mean we all know that celebrities are human just like us, but they are held at such a high esteem that you wouldn’t actually believe them to get diagnosed with such a sickness. This situation just shows that STDs are real and out there and its not just a side effect of low income,” says senior Krista Zboray.
The actor’s announcement has made him one of the new faces for AIDS prevention with the slogan, “AIDS does not discriminate.” It also prompted the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to send out a national reminder for anyone who is sexually active to practice safe sex. It is vital that if you are sexually active to use condoms consistently, have regular health screenings for sexually transmitted diseases, and seek medical treatment to avoid spreading such diseases.
Choose to live a life without HIV.
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