Nurse Amanda Bruce, who once dated Charlie Sheen, claims that taking a pill during her time with the actor kept her safe from contracting the HIV virus. This month, Sheen recently up in a shocking interview and stated that he’s been living with HIV for around four years.
NBC News reports that Bruce, one of Sheen’s former girlfriends, took pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) while dating the actor, a medication proven to lower the risk of developing HIV by up to 90 percent. Dr. Robert Huizenga, Sheen’s current physician, stated that he’s given PrEp to many of the actor’s former sexual partners.
“In numerous situations he would inform his partner and then he would often have the partner see me and we would have an incredibly frank discussion about their exact risks based on their known information and their options.”
Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Dr. Tom Frieden told NBC News that although PrEP is an effective medication in reducing the risks of developing HIV, not many people know about it yet.
“PrEP isn’t reaching many people who could benefit from it, and many providers remain unaware of its promise. With about 40,000 HIV infections newly diagnosed each year in the U.S., we need to use all available prevention strategies.”
Dr. Frieden also said that men who engage in sexual activity with other men run the highest risk of catching the HIV virus, followed by women who have sex with men who are HIV positive.
“In 2014, males accounted for 81 percent of all diagnoses of HIV infection among adults and adolescents.”
The Express reports that Sheen fears that he may have contracted the virus after engaging in sex with a transexual male. Although the former Two and a Half Men actor hasn’t officially confirmed his fears, an undisclosed insider stated that Sheen, who was allegedly fascinated with transexual men, is afraid one of his past encounters left him with the virus.
“Charlie has for a long time had a fascination with transsexual men. His curiosity got the better of him and he hired several, ordering them to his home at various times. He fears during one of his first encounters he was given HIV and he is concerned it was all caught on tape.”
Bruce indicated that she started using the pill immediately once she started dating Sheen. In fact, the nurse said that Sheen took her to see Dr. Huizenga shortly after they began dating.
Sheen is keeping the virus under control with a mix of the PrEP pill and cocktail of different medications. Currently, the medications have made Sheen’s HIV virus undetectable, although Huriega emphasized that it doesn’t mean the virus is gone. Yet, the doctor did state that Sheen’s low level will help protect any future partners he may have.
Bruce, currently HIV negative, said that although she knew the cocktail of medications that Sheen takes would keep her safe from developing the virus, she didn’t know that PrEP was available to her for added protection. She now wants to help spread the word about the medication to others in a relationship with an HIV positive partner.
“If you happen to fall in love with someone, as I did, who happened to be HIV positive, you can be intimate. You can have children. You can have a normal life.”
The downside of PrEP is the cost. The side effects are minimal, but without insurance, Huriega indicated that the medication can be quite expensive.
“It’s extremely expensive. If your insurance doesn’t pay for it, you will get stuck with a very large bill.”
Meanwhile, Dr. Huriega expects Charlie Sheen to live a quality life as long as he continues with his medications. The doctor is more concerned with Sheen’s depression and anxiety issues, and states that if the actor can get those factors under control, as well, there’s no reason his life should be cut short.
[Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images]