Charlie Sheen admits HIV and unprotected sex
CHARLIE Sheen has disclosed that he is HIV positive after days of speculation surrounding his health.
The Anger Management star confirmed he was diagnosed with the virus four years ago during an interview with the NBC Today show on Tuesday morning.
The actor spoke to Matt Lauer after a month of speculation sparked by gossip site Radar Online publishing an article claiming an unidentified actor living with HIV was about to announce their status.
Sheen said he was speaking publicly about his diagnosis after his confidence had been betrayed by a number of people, many of them "inner circle" friends. He claimed he no longer used drugs but that he still drank alcohol.
He told Lauer: "I'm here to say that I'm HIV positive and to put an end to this onslaught of baseless attacks, sub-truths and harmful stories.
"I've told enough people to put me in the position I am in now.
"I trusted those people. I thought they would be helpful. But my trust turned to their treason.
Sheen said he began experiencing headaches, migraines and night sweats before his diagnosis, describing it as "a hard three letters to absorb".
A number of tabloids speculated over his sexual activity after his diagnosis, but Sheen said it was "impossible" that he had passed on the virus and claimed he used condoms with the series of sex workers he had hired.
He claimed one sex worker had gone into his bathroom and photographed with his anti-retro viral drugs and threatened to sell them to the tabloids unless he paid her. He said he had paid out a total of $10m to people who had blackmailed him over his condition.
He told Lauer he led with "condoms and honesty" with all of his sexual partners, and it "couldn't be farther from the truth" that he threatened the health of many others - he said it was impossible that he had transmitted the disease to anyone else.
Sheen said that he had unprotected sex with two partners, but both were warned ahead of time and under a doctor's care.
Sheen said that before sexual activity, he had told all of his partners that he is HIV-positive.
Sheen's doctor, Robert Huizenga, said the actor was in good health and dismissed claims that he had full-blown Aids.
The biggest concern, he said, was about the actor's drinking and depression and the fact he may forget to take his medication. "We're petrified about Charlie," he added.
HIV is a virus that attacks and and weakens the immune system. It is most commonly contracted through unprotected sex.
The interview came after the US tabloid National Enquirer published a cover story for 18 November announcing Sheen's diagnosis.