The million-dollar secret is out: Charlie Sheen reveals that he’s HIV positive

Jasmine Imani Davis, Entertainment Editor

“It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life.”

Early Tuesday morning, Actor Charlie Irwin Estévez, best known by his stage name Charlie Sheen, appeared on “The Today Show” and revealed that he is HIV positive.

“I have to put a stop to this barrage of attacks and sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me that threaten the health of so many others,” said the 50-year-old during his exclusive interview with Matt Lauer. “[It] couldn’t be farther from the truth.”

HIV is transmitted mainly by having sex or sharing injection drug equipment such as needles with someone who has HIV. According to the former “Two and a Half Men” star, he was diagnosed about four years ago, but isn’t sure as to how he contracted the virus.

He has only trusted the news to his trusted companions. Like almost every celebrity, he has paid over $10 million to keep the news under wraps.

By talking about his diagnosis on “Today,” he hopes that the payouts will seize.

“I think that I release myself from this prison today,” Sheen told Lauer.

Sheen does not know whether or not he transmitted the virus to other people. But, even though he admitted to having unprotected sex with two partners since the diagnosis, he assured that they were both informed before hand and are being treated by his doctor.

The treatable virus leads to AIDS, which isn’t curable. Because of medical advances, the virus is manageable with antiviral drugs that have to be taken for a lifetime.

According to the actor’s physician, Dr. Robert Huizenga, an associate professor of clinical medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, “Charlie does not have AIDS.

He shared the news with his ex-wives, Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller, when he found out and had recently told his oldest daughter.

Sheen shared that he has to take four pills daily. Because of his troublesome past, his doctor is really concerned about him relapsing into substance abuse and entering into a state of depression because of his diagnosis.

“We’re petrified about Charlie. 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,” Huizenga said. However, he said that Sheen “has been vigilant about his regimen.”

After people showed their support for Sheen via social media, he feels like he could be some kind of “poster man” to deliver a cure.

“Hopefully, with what we’re doing today, others may come forward and say ‘Thanks, Charlie, for kicking the door open.’”