Charlie Sheen's open letter: Getting HIV 'a mule kick to my soul'
Sheen’s reaction to the diagnosis four years ago: “The news was a ‘mule kick’ to my soul. Those impossible words I absorbed and then tried to convince myself, that I was stuck, suspended, or even stranded inside some kind of alternate reality or nightmare, were to the absolute contrary. I was awake. It was true … reality.”
On his post-diagnosis depression: “The personal disbelief, karmic confusion, shame and anger led to a temporary yet abysmal descent into profound substance abuse and fathomless drinking. It was a suicide run. Problem was, I’d forgotten that I’m too tough for such a cowardly departure.”
On his antiretroviral treatment routine: “Not missing a beat, a med dose, or one shred of guidance, quickly my viral loads became undetectable. Like every other challenge in my life, again, I was victorious and kicking this disease’s ass … My medical team could only shake their heads as each and every blood test returned levels revealing a state of remission.”
On his payouts to keep sex partners silent: “I dazedly chose (or hired) the companionship of unsavory and insipid types. Regardless of their salt-less reputations, I always lead with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition. Sadly, my truth soon became their treason, as a deluge of blackmail and extortion took center stage in this circus of deceit. To date, I have paid out countless millions to these desperate charlatans.”
On his future as a celebrity living with HIV: “My partying days are behind me. My philanthropic days are ahead of me … In conclusion, I accept this condition not as a curse or scourge, but rather as an opportunity and a challenge. An opportunity to help others. A challenge to better myself.”