Five years after he learned that he was HIV positive, Charlie Sheen decides to make this aspect of his life public. The actor revealed that he is HIV positive for NBC’s Today show on Tuesday. He explained that the virus is almost inoffensive and that he undergoes an effective treatment. But, as we all know it, being HIV positive is still a matter of controversy for a vast majority.
Sheen has also revealed that he’s been blackmailed by those who knew about his health status in a time when he wanted to keep this information away from the public eye. He spent millions of dollars to hush the malicious racketeers, but he finally freed himself from this burden.
So he wrote a letter where he expressed his feelings towards those who took advantage of him being HIV positive. He described how that affected him and how he’s been living in a prison until now:
“The personal disbelief, karmic confusion, shame and anger lead to a temporary yet abysmal descent into profound substance abuse and fathomless drinking. It was a suicide run. Problem was, I’d forgotten that I’m too tough for such a cowardly departure. Yet, despite this loathsome and horrific odyssey, I was vigilant with my anti-viral program,“ Sheen wrote.
“In and around this perplexing and difficult time, I dazedly chose (or hired) the companionship of unsavory and insipid types. Regardless of their salt-less reputations, I always lead with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition. Sadly, my truth soon became their treason, as a deluge of blackmail and extortion took center stage in this circus of deceit.
“Locked in a vacuum of fear, I chose to allow their threats and skullduggery to vastly deplete future assets from my children, while my ‘secret’ sat entombed in their hives of folly (or so I thought).
“News Flash: This ends today. I’m claiming back my freedom. The scales of justice will swiftly and righteously re-balance themselves.”
After disclosing his health status, numerous tabloids published articles about his drug abuse and sexual activity, and how that was related to him being HIV positive. This only demonstrates the stigma that is around HIV positive people, how they cannot be seen as any other person with a health condition and they must be the subject of controversial stories.
Shaun Griffin, the Executive Director of External Affairs for the Terrence Higgins Trust condemned the attitude of those who have blackmailed Sheen, and stated that this kind of behavior leads to stigma, but fortunately enough, there are campaigns and activists who fight to end the disgrace associated with HIV.