With Charlie Sheen confirming his HIV-positive status, many questions emerge: what are his treatment options and what is his lifespan? HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with an HIV clinician to get some answers.
Do Charlie Sheen‘s children automatically have HIV? Will he be able to carry out a normal life? Charlie confirmed his HIV-positive status on Nov. 17 and HollywoodLife immediately spoke with Dr. Corie Beniasians, an expert HIV clinician, to get the quick facts– here are five things to know about Charlie’s condition.
5. What Are His Treatment Options? “There are a multitude of options for HIV treatment regimen and multiple factors to consider for treatment,” Dr. Beniasians said. “The ultimate goal In HIV care and treatment is symptom control and to keep virology low. All medications available reduce the number of viral replications and thus reduce the symptoms of HIV.”
4. Is His Family Infected? Charlie has five children— what is the likelihood that any of them, as well as his exes, Denise Richards, 44, and Brooke Mueller, 38, have the virus? It all depends on timing, according to the doctor. “Depending on when he was infected and whether the mother of the boys were also infected would decipher if the boys were infected,” said Dr. Beniasians. “Too many variables to analyze without enough answers.”
3. Can He Infect Others? In short, yes. “These drugs do not prevent transmission, they reduce the virologic presence to undetectable, therefore lessen the chance of transmission, but does not completely eradicate the possiblitiy of transmission,” said Dr. Beniasians. “As per CDC guidelines and clinical trials, condoms along with HIV treatment medications and an undetectable Viral load are the best and most comprehensive method of preventing transmission.”
2. Will He Ever Be Cured? Sadly, as of now, Charlie cannot be cured of HIV. “There is no cure for HIV as of yet,” said the doctor. However, that does not mean that the virus is a death sentence. In fact, “today those with HIV are able to live healthy, normal lives,” said Dr. Beniasians.
1. How Long Can He Live With HIV? “The lifespan of living with HIV nowadays is definitely much longer than those diagnosed 20 years ago,” said the doctor. “However, you still have to be more cautious than those living without HIV and must be adherent to their medication regimen to maintain an undetectable level and prevent symptom presentation and thus prevent opportunistic infections.”
— Casey Mink