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Charlie Sheen’s Failed Mission

Charlie Sheen’s Failed Mission


Sheen says he “didn’t see it as Russian roulette.”

Charlie Sheen may be a wealthy celebrity, but he's as desperate for an HIV cure as anyone else with the chronic disease. Despite the access to top medical care his money and fame have given him, Sheen fell prey to a charlatan who promised him a cure.  That's why Sheen took the radical and ill advised step of stopping his HIV medications to pursue an experimental treatment in Mexico. Dr. Samir Chachoua claimed to be able to “cure” HIV with goat's milk. Instead, Sheen saw his health plummet.

Sheen had been on antiretroviral medication for three years, which had reduced the virus to the point that it was undetectable in his system, but he told the incredulous host on The Dr. Oz Show that he had stopped taking the medications when he saw Chachoua.

“I’m been off my meds for about a week now,” Sheen told Oz in the pre-taped segment that aired in January. “Am I risking my life? Sure. So what? I was born dead. That part of it doesn’t faze me at all.”

But, Sheen said his viral load skyrocketed in the time he was off, and Dr. Oz urged him to resume his antiretroviral treatment. Sheen’s manager, Mark Burg, told People magazine that the actor had resumed taking his medications December 8, just after the episode was taped. 

“Charlie is back on his meds. He tried a cure from a doctor in Mexico but the minute the numbers went up, he started taking his medicine,” Burg said. “He said he would start on the plane on the way home and that is exactly what he did.”

Sheen says he “didn’t see it as Russian roulette. I didn’t see it as a complete dismissal of the conventional course we’ve been on. I’m not recommending that anyone. I’m presenting myself as a type of guinea pig.”

Stopping HIV medications is always a risky proposition and shouldn't be undertaken without the supervision of a reputable HIV specialist. As studies have demonstrated, even a short vacation from antiretrovirals can result in negative, long term impacts on a person's health.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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