This morning Charlie Sheen went on the Today show and revealed that he is HIV positive. He says he was diagnosed with the virus roughly four years ago. The actor appeared smiling and defiant during the interview with Matt Lauer, which he said he agreed to do to put an end to people blackmailing him. Sheen estimated he’s paid nearly $10 million to keep his blackmailers from exposing his condition. When Lauer asked, “Are you still paying these people?” Sheen said, “Not after today I’m not.”
Sheen dispelled rumors that he knowingly infected others with the virus and at one point appeared with his physician, UCLA associate professor of clinical medicine Dr. Robert Huizenga, who confirmed that the actor is HIV-positive but does not have AIDS. Dr. Huizenga went on to say that Sheen takes his anti-viral medications each day. “We’re petrified about Charlie,” he said. “We’re so, so anxious that if he was overly depressed, if he was abusing substance, he would forget these pills, and that’s been an incredible worry.”
“I’m not going to be the poster man for this,” said Sheen, “but I will not shun away from responsibilities and opportunities that drive me to helping others.” Sheen also shared an open letter about his diagnosis with Today.