Actor Charlie Sheen, who revealed in November that he is HIV-positive, says he stopped taking his medications and began undergoing unspecified treatment in Mexico — though his manager later clarified it was only a temporary suspension.
“I’ve been off my meds for about a week now,” “Anger Management” star Sheen, 50, said on the syndicated “The Dr. Oz Show” Tuesday, according to a People magazine transcript. “Am I risking my life? Sure. So what? I was born dead. That part of it doesn’t faze me at all.”
Dr. Mehmet Oz, 55, played audio from a telephone conversation with Sheen’s Mexican physician Dr. Sam Chachoua, who claimed to be so confident of treatment he was giving Sheen that “I drew some blood from him and I injected myself with it and I said, ‘Charlie, if I don’t know what I’m doing, then we’re both in trouble now aren’t we?’ ” Chachoua additionally claimed Sheen was “the first person in history without antiviral therapy” to be cured of HIV.
“I didn’t see it as Russian roulette,” Sheen told Oz. “I didn’t see it as a complete dismissal of the conventional course we’ve been on. I’m not recommending that anyone [do likewise]. I’m presenting myself as a type of guinea pig.”
He also revealed on the show that the previously undetectable amount of HIV in his blood has increased since November. “I’m a little off my game because right before I walked out here, I got some results I was disappointed about,” he told Oz. “I had been nondetectable . . . and checking the blood every week and then found out the numbers are back up.”
Sheen’s manager Mark Burg, however, told People later Tuesday that Sheen did resume taking his medications on Dec. 8, after the episode was shot. “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.”
In the audience for the episode was Sheen’s U.S. physician, Dr. Robert Huizenga, who told the actor, “It would just break my heart if you did anything where you threw that opportunity . . . away and went back to where we were several decades ago,” adding, “It would just break my heart if we were to risk returning to that horrible part of our history.”