Charlie Sheen’s Doctor Fears Drugs And Depression May Kill Him Before HIV
Charlie Sheen’s doctor fears the actor will become so depressed about his HIV diagnosis he will suffer a serious drug relapse.
The Wall Street star confirmed he is battling the virus during a candid interview on Today on Tuesday, and Los Angeles specialist, Dr. Robert Huizenga, joined his patient on camera to clear up aspects of his condition.
“Charlie does not have AIDS,” the medic clarified. “AIDS is a condition when the HIV virus markedly suppresses the immune system and you’re susceptible to rare, difficult cancers and infections. Charlie has none of those. He is healthy. He does not have AIDS… Charlie has contracted the HIV virus. He was immediately put on treatment – strong antiviral drugs, which have suppressed the virus. Unfortunately, we don’t have a cure yet. It’s suppressed the virus to the point that he is absolutely healthy… Individuals who are optimally treated, who have undetectable viral lobes, who responsibly use protection (during sex)… it’s incredibly rare to transmit the virus. We can’t say that that’s zero, but it’s a very, very low number.”
Huizenga goes on to admit he is more worried about how Sheen will continue to deal with the illness now he’s made his health crisis public.
He continued, “My biggest concern with Charlie as a patient is substance abuse and depression from the disease, more than what the HIV virus can do in terms of shortening his life, because it’s not going to.”
The actor insists he is clean after conquering his previous substance abuse issues, and although he still drinks “a little bit,” he is hopeful he may now also be able to completely cut out alcohol from his lifestyle as he will no longer have to deal with the stress of former lovers trying to blackmail him to keep his news a secret.
Sheen added, “Perhaps the freedom of today might lead to that as well.”
Earlier in the interview, Sheen confessed he had decided to go public with his HIV diagnosis after paying out more than $10 million in “shakedowns” to exes who had threatened to leak the gossip to the press.
The 50-year-old, who is “not entirely” sure how he contracted the disease, also insisted he had told every lover in the past four years of his condition before engaging in sexual intimacy, and only had unprotected sex twice with two women who were warned of his illness beforehand.
Now the actor admits he is feeling overcome with relief after going public with his HIV diagnosis and he hopes his actions will help others in similar situations come clean about their health too.
He explained, “I have a responsibility now to better myself and to help a lot of other people and hopefully with what we’re doing today (going public with his diagnosis), others may come forward and say, ‘Thanks Charlie, thanks for kicking the door open.'”