The world is buzzing about Charlie Sheen’s recent TODAY Show exclusive with Matt Lauer. Sheen, who is 50 and known for his addiction struggles and stints in rehab, revealed that he has been HIV Positive for at least four years.
Much of the conversation focused on Sheen’s diagnosis and included a segment with his doctor, Robert Huizenga, MD who is an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at UCLA and an expert advisor on the NBC show The Biggest Loser.
During one moment in the interview, the TODAY Show’s Matt Lauer asked Sheen if his erratic behavior in 2011 was a direct result of Sheen receiving his HIV diagnosis. Charlie Sheen’s responded, “I wish I could blame it on that, but that was more of a ‘roid rage.” Sheen’s response raised more questions than he answered. What is ‘roid rage and why was Sheen taking steroids?
Charlie Sheen insisted he isn’t using drugs but admitted that he does still drink alcohol. One of the biggest concerns Sheen’s physician Dr. Huizenga raised was Sheen getting drunk and forgetting to take his daily cocktail of four pills a day to combat the HIV infection in his body.
“My biggest concern, with Charlie as a patient, is substance abuse and depression from the disease more than the harm caused by the HIV virus in terms of shortening his life, because it’s not going to,” Dr. Huizenga told Matt Lauer. In fact, Dr. Huizenga said he was “petrified” in fear that his patient may slip up and forget to take his medication.
Charlie Sheen may never overcome his demons that have led to self-destructive behavior and what appears to be alcoholism, but it sounds like his physician has his HIV condition managed and under control. It remains to be seen whether or not Sheen will ever receive the help or alcohol intervention that he needs.
Photo by Joella Marano (Charlie Sheen) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons