Charlie Sheen Confirms That He’s HIV Positive

Charlie Sheen

Charlie Sheen confirmed that he is indeed HIV positive on Tuesday (Nov. 17), during an appearance on the TODAY show.

"It's a hard three letters to absorb. It's a turning point in one's life," the 50-year-old actor said.

According to Sheen, one of the reasons he decided to make the announcement to end a smear campaign and extortion efforts by people he thought he could trust. "I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and of sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me, threatening the health of so many others that couldn't be further from the truth," Sheen said.

He goes on to say that he told people he trusted of the diagnosis, but has since paid upwards of $10 million to keep the secret. "What people forget is that that's money they're taking from my children," he said of what he called "shakedowns". "I trusted them and they were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful. My trust turned to their treason."

Sheen said he hopes the payouts will not stop. "That's my goal. That's not my only goal. I think I release myself from this prison today," he said.

The actor said he was diagnosed roughly four years ago, but admits he doesn't know how he contracted the virus. "It started with what I thought was a series of crushing headaches," he said. "I thought I had a brain tumor. I thought it was over."

Sheen also dismissed the idea that he engaged in high-risk behaviors. "You're talking about needles and that whole mess? No, definitely not," he said.

His doctor denied rumors that Sheen has AIDS, as some blogs have reported.

As for the future, Charlie wants to become a better person. "I have a responsibility now to better myself and to help a lot of other people and hopefully with what we're doing today others will come forward and say, 'Thanks, Charlie,'" he said.