Charlie Sheen found himself in the hot seat when he agreed to appear on The Dr. Oz Show earlier in the week. Dr. Oz had tough questions ready to fire away at the troubled movie star; however, Sheen was poised and ready to answer all questions, no matter how daunting or probing the questions seemed. USA Today reported that Charlie is back on his HIV antiretrovirals medicine after Dr. Oz grilled him to why he’d halt the recommended HIV treatment.
Charlie revealed in an emotional interview with Dr. Oz that he stopped the HIV traditional treatment in hopes alternative medicine could “cure” his disease. Charlie Sheen’s manager, Mark Burg, made a statement to The Wrap that Charlie was a guinea pig for research and risked his life in hopes to find the HIV cure.
Sheen had to face the reality that the danger of going off all HIV antiretrovirals medications didn’t work for him, and it was necessary for him to resume his HIV drug therapy. Charlie explained that the only way his Mexican specialist, Dr. Sam Chachoua, would know if the alternative medication worked for him was to take him off the traditional HIV medications, and test his blood without the influence of them. When Sheen learned that the treatment failed in Mexico, within hours, he began his antiretrovirals HIV medication again.
Charlie’s Mexican doctor was confident the alternative treatment would work for him. In fact, (he) was so certain that he injected Charlie blood in his body as a vote of confidence. Charlie explained to Dr. Oz that his treatment was not successful, and he had to go back to traditional treatment.
“I’m a little off my game because right before I walked out here, I got some results I was disappointed about. I had been non-detectable, non-detectable and checking the blood every week and then found out the numbers are back up.”
Dr. Oz begged Charlie to begin his treatment regime. Sheen had told the TV host that he planned to start it once he was in route to going home. Dr. Oz told him it would break his heart if something happened and because of the alternative treatment, Charlie’s health was affected adversely. Burg, Charlie’s manager, confirmed to the media that Charlie did, in fact, restart his medication regime, and he is on his way to stabilizing his HIV.
Charlie isn’t done looking for an HIV cure. Sheen has stated he will continue to look and try alternative methods — he just needs to wait until the virus is undetectable in his blood again.
Peter Staley, who is credited to getting the drug companies to offer antiretrovirals medications to those affected with HIV, praised Charlie’s work to find a cure. Staley said this about Sheen’s initial lab work four years ago.
“His initial viral load when he was first diagnosed was 4.4 million. If it weren’t for those treatments, he would be dead today. I’m sure of it.”
Dr. Oz noted that Dr. Sam Chachoua is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States, and his medical opinion of going off antiretroviral medication was completely unorthodox. Dr. Frank Spinell, an HIV specialist, told The Wrap that going off HIV medications for even one day is completely dangerous. It puts others at risk if the virus multiples.
Dr. Spinell had this to say about going off HIV medications and how it can affect the body.
“It’s O.K. to read and do research, but to trust so-called alternative cures that have no cure is stupid. Two things can happen when you go off your meds: You can become resistant to the antiretrovirals, and you increase the risk of passing the virus to someone else because your viral load is no longer undetectable. I feel sorry for people who chase after alternative cures when we have scientific data that shows there is currently no cure for HIV.”
The medical evidence shows that there is no cure for HIV; yet, Charlie Sheen has vowed he will continue to seek and try alternative treatment methods, even if it risks his health and the heart of those around him. Charlie has pledged to live a healthier lifestyle — with clean eating, exercise, and he no longer drinks. Charlie told Dr. Oz that he has not given up cigarettes, though, he is open to the idea.
Page Six reported that Charlie Sheen will be a series regular on The Dr. Oz Show as the physician TV host checks in with the accomplished actor. As of now, the show has not released a schedule of his appearances — only that he’ll appear frequently. Charlie Sheen’s next appearance on The Dr. Oz Show is on Monday when he talks about suffering from a “manic” episodes, and how it related to his binge substance abuse tendencies.
[Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images]