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Danny Pintauro Speaks Out About Charlie Sheen's Announcement

Danny Pintauro Speaks Out About Charlie Sheen's Announcement

DANNY PINTAURO AND CHARLIE SHEEN

Just weeks after his own coming out, the former Who's the Boss? child star reflects on Charlie Sheen's anouncement.

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 twelve 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 (treament as prevention). 

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.  

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Danny Pintauro

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