American actor Charlie Sheen has disclosed that he is HIV positive, in a television interview that followed weeks of speculation about his condition.
“I would like to admit that I am in fact HIV positive,” he told the Today show on NBC on Tuesday. “It’s a hard three letters to absorb.”
According to reports in the past few days, Sheen had been keeping his HIV status private for four years.
The actor’s health status has been an open secret in Hollywood in recent weeks, since the showbusiness website Radar Online published a report that said a Hollywood “megastar” was HIV positive. The report did not name Sheen, but contained enough clues to ensure he was quickly identified as the most likely subject of the story.
The National Enquirer named Sheen on Monday, and Today announced that Sheen would appear on the show to “make a revealing personal announcement”, in an interviewer with lead anchor Matt Lauer.
CBS fired Sheen from the long-running sitcom Two and a Half Men in March 2011after the Golden Globe-winning actor had a public meltdown and criticised the show’s creator, Chuck Lorre. Filming had been disrupted in the previous year as Sheen, who was the highest-paid actor on television at the time, received treatment for drug addiction.
Sheen’s film credits includes Major League, Hot Shots and Being John Malkovich. He most recently starred in the FX series Anger Management, which ran from June 2012 to December 2014.
While Sheen’s film and television career has been quiet in recent years, he has been writing messages about news and politics for his 11.5 million Twitter followers. He posted a racist message about Barack Obama in March.
Sheen is the son of actor Martin Sheen and brother of actor Emilio Estevez.
About 50,000 people contract HIV in the US each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). An estimated 1.2 million people in the US have HIV.
The UK Guardian
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