Danny Pintauro is praising Charlie Sheen’s brave HIV announcement. The Who’s The Boss? alum, who revealed he was HIV-positive during an interview with Oprah Winfrey last month, tells Us Weekly in an exclusive statement that Sheen “made the right decision.”
Below is Pintauro’s complete statement regarding Sheen’s Nov. 17 Today show reveal:
"This morning while I watched Charlie speak with Matt Lauer, my heart was racing. I have been there and I know that feeling. The sheer terror followed by sudden relief is powerful and life changing. To have Matt read those supportive tweets must have instantly affirmed to Charlie that he had made the right decision by sharing his truth. It took me 12 years to get to a place where I was ready to tell the world, but in all of that time I worried that someone else would want to tell my story without my permission, which is why I decided it was time to take control of my story and sit down with Oprah. I commend Charlie for realizing it was time to take control of his story.
"The effect stigma has on HIV has never been clearer — as Charlie’s story indicates, people will go to great lengths to keep others from knowing their status. There are currently 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. Sadly too many are afraid to share their status even with those closest to them. How many people are so terrified of the stigma surrounding ‘those three letters’ that they can’t even bring themselves to get tested in the first place? I believe we are on the verge of changing the way people look at HIV and I couldn’t be more fired up to do my part to affect that change.
"This is an opportunity to learn and teach. And so I urge you to set aside any negativity and take the time to educate yourself and others instead. Find out about PrEP, a once daily pill to protect against HIV. Learn about the amazing advancements in treatment, what 'undetectable' means, and how treatment not only helps those with HIV be healthy, but ALSO helps prevent the spread of the disease (TasP). Thank the people in your life who are living with HIV for trusting you enough to tell you their truth, and return that trust with support and love."
Pintauro exclusively revealed to Us last month that he contracted the virus from oral sex. “When you put all of these nasty things together, like a compromised immune system, having been up for a long time, drugs, rough sex, all of that combined with lesions in your mouth, bodily fluids, it’s that easy,” the child star, who struggled with substance abuse, explained.
Sheen revealed during a sit-down with Matt Lauer on Tuesday that he was diagnosed with HIV roughly four years ago. His doctor Dr. Robert Huizenga, who appeared alongside him, was on hand to clarify his health status.
"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,” he explained. “Charlie has none of those. He is healthy.”
Sheen’s ex-wives Denise Richards and Brooke Mueller do not have the virus, nor do his children.
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