Charlie Sheen 'HIV positive'

Hollywood star Charlie Sheen has been suffering from the deadly HIV virus for years, it's been revealed.

The 50-year-old is now desperate to cover up his medical crisis and it is costing him millions of dollars, the National ENQUIRER reports.

"[Charlie] has been tortured by the thought that his acting genius will be forgotten," a source told the media outlet.

"[His] worst fear is that he will be remembered not as a great actor, but as someone who contracted the disease."

Radar Online, the ENQUIRER's website, says the news comes as Sheen prepares for an interview with NBC's Today show, in which he is going to confirm "he is HIV positive".

"There are very serious ramifications for Charlie Sheen because we now know that he had been sleeping with women in Hollywood and not disclosing his HIV status, and that is a crime in California," executive editor Lachlan Cartwright told the Paul Henry programme.

Cartwright says that over the past 18 months they went to great lengths to verify the information, including putting sources through lie detector tests.

Why do some people keep HIV hidden?

Many people keep their HIV status hidden because it's a great shock to them, says the New Zealand AIDs Foundation.

"They get treated very badly if they have HIV and they reveal it," executive director Shaun Robinson told the Paul Henry programme.

"They get thrown out of accommodation, friends stop hanging around, people won't share food with them, [and] sometimes employers will kick them out."

Robinson says in New Zealand, between 100 and 150 people are diagnosed with HIV each year.

"That's pretty low by world standards," he says. "It's still an issue, it's still there and anybody – heterosexual or gay – can still get HIV and it's still incurable… but it won't kill you if you stay on the treatments."

  • More information on HIV is available here.

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