Charlie Sheen's doctor joined him for his interview with Matt Lauer on the “Today” show to discuss the actor's HIV-positive diagnosis. Dr. Robert Huizenga revealed that he has been treating the 50-year-old actor for “five, six years,” he said in the Tuesday morning interview.
Huizenga clarified that Sheen is undergoing treatment and that his most pressing concern was actually Charlie’s personal issues. “He was immediately put on treatment, strong anti-viral drugs, which have suppressed the virus … to the point that he is absolutely from that vantage. And my biggest concern with Charlie as a patient is substance abuse and depression from the disease more than what the HIV virus could do in terms of shortening his life, because it’s not going to.”
The doctor also confirmed that while the “Anger Management” actor is HIV-positive, the disease has not progressed to AIDS. “He is healthy. He does not have AIDS,” he said.
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Sheen had said it’s impossible to transmit the disease with protection. However, Huizenga clarified that it isn’t impossible, but it’s very unlikely. “It’s incredibly rare to transmit that virus,” Dr. Huizenga said.
The actor currently takes four pills each day. He says he is no longer doing drugs but still drinks. His problems with alcohol and substance abuse haven’t gotten in the way of his treatment so far, a fact that surprises his doctor.
“We’re petrified about Charlie,” Huizenga admitted. “We’re so, so anxious that if he was overly depressed, if he was abusing substances, he would forget these pills. That has been an incredible worry, and magically, somehow in the midst of personal mayhem, he has never forgotten to take his medication.”