It’s been nearly six years since Charlie Sheen’s very public meltdown which nearly ended his career and over one since the actor disclosed his diagnosis of HIV. The former star of Two and a Half Men and Anger Management has referred to his breakdown as a “roid rage” in his latest round of public appearances promoting the new film Mad Families.
Speaking with Michael Strahan on Good Morning America last week, Sheen recounted his suicidal thoughts after discovering that he was HIV positive, a diagnosis which was at one time considered tantamount to a death sentence. He said that he “immediately wanted to eat a bullet” after receiving the news, but held back because his mother was there and as Sheen said, “My mom was there,” he said. “I wouldn’t do that in front of her or let her find me to clean up that mess.”
Sheen revealed that the diagnosis started him on what he now calls a “suicide run” of substance abuse. However, the actor said that deep down he knew that self-destruction wasn’t the answer and that he has stuck to his regimen of antiviral medication. He told Strahan that he now feels good, saying, “Some days are better than others but most days are pretty frickin’ cool. I walk out in the world and it’s just warm hugs and compliments and there’s nothing but love out there right now.”
For the last eight months, Sheen has been taking part in an FDA study for a new HIV medication called PRO 140, developed by the biotech company CytoDyn, Inc., which has requested a Breakthrough Therapy designation from the FDA. The company intends to target the medication for the treatment of HIV in patients who have not responded well to traditional antiviral drugs. “We are very close to being approved and it is not this hideous cocktail that leads to so many side-effects, emotionally and physically, it’s one shot a week,” Sheen said.
Speaking of his 2011 meltdown, which included diatribes laced with phrases like “winning” and “tiger blood” which quickly went viral even as his behavior led to his exit from Two and a Half Men, Sheen blamed the testosterone cream he had been using at the time. “That whole odyssey. That was basically an accidental roid rage. But there’s some good quotes that came out of it, right? There’s a few fun moments. So bizarre, so bizarre, so bizarre.”