“I am here to admit that I am in fact HIV positive and I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks, of sub-truths – very harmful ... stories that are threatening the health of so many others,” he told the Today show on NBC this morning.Sheen said he learned about the diagnosis roughly 4 years ago. “It’s a hard three letters to absorb.”
Asked whether he had transmitted HIV to anyone since his diagnosis, Sheen said: “Impossible.” and also said he was “not entirely” aware of how he contracted the virus.
Sheen claimed that people who knew his status had extorted money from him to keep his status secret. He revealed he had paid people millions to keep quiet about his illness up to now. He said he would stop paying now that his HIV status is public.
“I release myself from this prison today. What people forget is that is money they are taking from my children. I've got five kids and a granddaughter," he said.The actor said it was true one prostitute came over to his house, saw his HIV medication and threatened to expose him if he didn't cough up cash. He was asked if he was still paying some of these people, he said:
"Not after today I'm not. I've released myself from my prison today." He said one incident of extortion took place when a prostitute took a picture of his antiretroviral medication and threatened to sell it.Today Show host Matt Lauer asked Sheen why he continued to bring people including prostitutes to his home even though they were threatening him. Sheen said it was because he was depressed. He said that the period in March 2011 when he appeared on television and online making absurd claims and going on long tirades was not tied to his HIV status.
“I wish I could blame it on that - that was more roid rage,” he said.The actor’s health status has been an open secret in Hollywood in recent weeks, since the showbusiness website Radar Online published a report that said a Hollywood “megastar” was HIV positive. The report did not name Sheen, but contained enough clues to ensure he was quickly identified as the most likely subject of the story.