Charlie Sheen: I've Been HIV-Positive for 4 Years
'It's a hard three letters to absorb'
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2015 7:05 AM CST
Charlie Sheen in 2012.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Aaron Vincent Elkaim)
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(Newser) – It's true: Charlie Sheen revealed to Matt Lauer on the Today show Tuesday morning that he is, in fact, HIV-positive, and has known for four years. "It's a tough three letters to absorb. It's a turning point in one's life," says Sheen. The diagnosis came while he was hospitalized for a series of severe headaches. The 50-year-old actor says he has paid big money to people over the last four years who have threatened to go public with his secret—including a prostitute who once photographed his medication. "I think I release myself from this prison today," he said.

Sheen said it's "impossible" that he has transmitted HIV to anyone else. He also told Lauer that he has had unprotected sex with two people since the diagnosis, but both were aware of his status. (TMZ reports that he has settled lawsuits with people who had sex with him but were unaware of his HIV status.) He's not clear on how he contracted HIV, but he spoke of his out-of-control drinking and drug use of a few years ago. "Bad decisions." Sheen's doctor also appeared on the show, and he said Sheen currently has "undetectable" levels of HIV in his body, thanks to medication. (The fight against HIV recently scored a "major win.")