Charlie Sheen’s doctor is speaking out about the actor’s HIV-positive diagnosis. Dr. Robert Huizenga sat with Sheen, 50, during his revealing Today show interview with Matt Lauer on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
“Charlie does not have AIDS. AIDS is a condition when the HIV virus markedly surpasses 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,” Huizenga explained to Lauer
“Charlie has contracted the HIV virus. He was immediately put on treatment — strong antiviral drugs, which have suppressed the virus,” Huizenga continued. “Unfortunately, we don’t have a cure yet, but suppressed the virus to the point that he is absolutely healthy from that vantage, and 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.”
Huizenga also noted that “it’s incredibly rare to transmit the virus” if HIV-positive individuals get treated. Sheen has managed the illness by taking four pills a day.
Us Weekly confirmed on Monday that the Two and a Half Men alum was set to talk about his health on the morning NBC news program. During the interview, Sheen said that his ex-wives Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller were fully aware of his diagnosis. (As previously reported, Richards, 44, and their two daughters — Sam, 11, and Lola, 10 — are not HIV-positive.) He also said he paid “millions” to keep his secret under wraps for four years.
“It’s a hard three letters to absorb,” Sheen told Lauer of his HIV-positive status. “I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks of sub-truths and very, very harmful stories that are about threatening the health of so many others which couldn’t be farther from the truth.”
He added: “I think I released myself from this prison today.”
Watch Sheen’s Today show interview in the video above.