Charlie Sheen admitted to being HIV-positive on Nov. 17 on the Today show after The National Enquirer revealed he contracted the virus several years ago. Click through to read his most candid quotes from his sit down with Matt Lauer and all of the details he revealed during the interview.
And while he said he doesn’t feel stigma, he does plan to help others through sharing his diagnosis. “I have a responsibility now to better myself and to help a lot of other people and hopefully what we're doing today others may come forward and say, ‘Thanks Charlie for kicking the door open.’”
“I’m here to admit that I am in fact HIV-positive,” he said, revealing he found out about “roughly four years” before his announcement and doesn’t “entirely” know how he got it. “I was so depressed by the condition that I was in that I was doing a lot of drugs. I was drinking way too much. I was making really bad decisions. That part I own 100 percent.”
Sheen said he believes it's “impossible” that he knowingly or unknowingly transmitted HIV to anyone else. “I always led with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition,” he said, “I dazedly chose the companionship of unsavory and insipid types.”
He did, however, admit to having two occasions of unprotected sex. “The two people I did that with were under the care of my doctor and completely warned ahead of time,” he said.
While Charlie said he has not ever missed his pills, his doctor is still worried. "We're petrified about Charlie. We're so so anxious that if he was overly depressed or if he was abusing substances, he would forget these pills. Magically somehow in the midst of personal mayhem, he's managed to take these pills."
The actor also said he was not aware he had the condition at first and thought he was dying. He said he experienced a “series of crushing headaches and insane sweating the bed” before learning of his diagnosis. “I thought I had a brain tumor,” he said. “I thought it was over. After a battery of tests and spinal tests, they walked in the rooms and said this is what's going on. It's a hard three letters to absorbs. It's a turning point in one's life.”
As for his infamous meltdowns over the years, Charlie said his “descent into substance abuse” was not exactly a direct result of his HIV-positive status. “I wish I could blame it on that that was more of a roid rage,” he said. “This was on the heels of that.”