Charlie Sheen Swears "Partying Days Are Behind Me" After HIV-Positive Diagnosis

Photo: Matt Baron/BEI/REX Shutterstock
After announcing on the Today show Tuesday morning that he is HIV-positive — and has known for four years — Charlie Sheen is writing in his own words about the literal and figurative cost the diagnosis has had on him. But he swears that, in the end, this will make him a better man.

In an open letter he shared with USA Today, the 50-year-old actor wrote that finding out he was HIV-positive after going to the hospital following a three-day headache that he believed to be a brain tumor 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," Sheen wrote. "I was awake. It was true…reality."

However, under the care of doctors and the "leading infectious-disease expert in the known universe," he says he began a "rigorous and intensive treatment program. Not missing a beat, a med dose, or one shred of guidance, quickly my viral loads became undetectable." Though he says he "was victorious and kicking this disease’s ass," he was also dealing with the shame and disbelief of contracting HIV, which caused him to temporarily turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. "It was a suicide run," Sheen wrote before explaining that during this time he did stick with his treatment. "Even though I might have been trying to kill myself, one thing was radically evident: The disease was not."

Sheen admits to other bad choices during this time, specifically the company he chose to keep, calling them "unsavory and insipid types." And though he says he always used condoms and was honest about his diagnosis with those partners, "a deluge of blackmail and extortion took center stage in this circus of deceit."

He also says, "Locked in a vacuum of fear, I chose to allow their threats and skulduggery to vastly deplete future assets from my children, while my 'secret' sat entombed in their hives of folly." But that all stops today, as Sheen explains: "I’m claiming back my freedom. The scales of justice will swiftly and righteously rebalance themselves."

In his letter, Sheen vows that he will not see his diagnosis as a curse but as an opportunity to do better. "My partying days are behind me. My philanthropic days are ahead of me," he wrote, before quoting Ernest Hemingway: “Courage is grace under pressure.

"I’ve served my time under pressure," he added to close his letter. "I now embrace the courage, and the grace."

Sheen's decision to reveal his diagnosis comes one day before a National Enquirer issue is expected to hit stands that reportedly contains details about how the actor allegedly hid his HIV status from sexual partners.

However, in his interview on Today, the actor said he disclosed his HIV-positive status to all former sexual partners, which he claims since being diagnosed have been just two women, who were "warned ahead of time" and monitored by Sheen's own doctor.

Read Sheen's entire letter here.

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