American actor Charlie Sheen has confirmed that he’s HIV positive.
The former star of the sitcom Two And A Half Men appeared on NBC’s Today Show.
In his exclusive interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer , he said that he was diagnosed four years ago, saying he was finally revealing it publicly to “put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks, of sub-truths, and that he paid people “into the millions” to keep his truths.
WATCH the full interview here:
It’s been thirty years since HIV/AIDS first entered the public eye and consciousness, due in part to the HIV-related deaths of high-profile stars.
And while the stigma surrounding the disease is not as harsh as it used to be, it still exists. The emerging AIDS epidemic of the 1980s caused a lot of fear about how it was contracted and transmitted.
According to the international AIDS organization AVERT, many people still hold the same stigmas true:
WORLD AIDS DAY is December 1, 2015
The theme for World AIDS Day 2015 is ”Getting to zero”; Zero New HIV Infections. Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS-related deaths.
However, according to the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange (CATIE), every 3 hours a person contracts AIDS in Canada, and 25% of Canadians living with HIV don’t know it.
Thirty years of HIV/AIDS in the public eye
American actor and heartthrob throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Rock Hudson was the first American celebrity to admit her had been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS shortly before his death in 1985. His admission is said to have given a face to the disease and contributed to a surge in funding for AIDS research. While Hudson’s homosexuality was said to be known by many in Hollywood, it still came as a shock to his many adoring female fans who remembered him as the romantic leading man of their youth.
Władziu Valentino Liberace, best known simply as Liberace, was an American pianist and entertainer who was considered one of the world’s greatest entertainers from the 1950s through the 1970s. He died from an AIDS-related illness in 1987, becoming the second major celebrity to die from the disease. Liberace denied his homosexuality throughout his lifetime, and it was only through a coroner’s report that is was confirmed that he was HIV-positive.
British frontman for the rock band Queen, Mercury was a virtuoso singer and song-writer who died of AIDS-related bronchial pneumonia when he was 45-years-old. He did not make his diagnosis public until the day before he died. Mercury was gay, but also had serious relationships with women, and its been debated whether or not he was open about his sexual orientation.
Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson was a professional basketball player for the LA Lakers before he who announced his HIV-positive status, along with his retirement, in 1991. He’s lived with HIV for 24 years, and believes he contracted it from unsafe sex practices with women during his career as a basketball player.
Anthony Perkins was an American actor and singer best known for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. He died from AIDS-related pneumonia at the age of 60. It wasn’t until after his death that his diagnosis was made public.
Best known for his role as the father Mike Brady in ABC sitcom The Brady Bunch from 1969 to 1974, Reed also kept his homosexuality a secret. While his death was attributed to colon cancer, his HIV-positive status was listed as contributing to his death.