The news of Charlie Sheen’s HIV status was prematurely divulged yesterday as the actor was set to make an appearance on the Today show with the announcement. Tuesday morning (Nov. 17), Sheen’s live sit-down with Matt Lauer brought the truth to light straight from his mouth, as he said publicly for the first time that he has contracted the virus.
“I would like to admit that I’m HIV-Positive,” Sheen said. “And 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 the (alleged) threatening the health of so many others, which couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
Sheen revealed that he has known of his status for “roughly four years,” after being hospitalized for migraines and night sweats. His decision to reveal that he is HIV-positive comes after the troubled actor says he has been extorted by people he thought he could trust with the information. According to Sheen, he has paid “in the millions” to keep the information private, including a prostitute who snapped a photo of his medication and threatened to sell it to tabloids.
“It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life,” he said.
With regards to whether or not he expects to have lawsuits filed against him. Lauer noted that in 35 states, one can be brought up on criminal charges for failing to divulge his or her HIV status. He said that he had not been sued for any “contamination” or “transference,” but that he anticipates legal action based on being extorted in the past. He also revealed that he has had unprotected sex since his diagnosis, but only with partners under his doctor’s care.
“I would be predicting the future and assuming the worst,” he said. “I can only imagine based on what I experienced and what’s already come down the pipeline. I’m sure that’s next. […]Having divulged it is the reason I’m in the mess that I’m in. […] I can only sit here and tell you my truth.”
The actor’s doctor also revealed that he has reached an “undetectable” level of the virus in his blood due to diligence in taking his medication. Watch a clip of Charlie Sheen’s admission of his HIV status below: