What Charlie Sheen’s Revelation Means For HIV Stigma In San Diego
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
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Actor Charlie Sheen announced Tuesday that he's been living with HIV for four years.
The revelations were shocking to some. But unlike the AIDS panic in the 1980s and 90s, HIV today isn't a death sentence.
Dan Lee, clinical professor of medicine at UC San Diego, said the last time a celebrity of Sheen’s stature spoke out was in 1991 when NBA star Magic Johnson announced he was HIV-positive.
“That’s 24 years ago,” Lee told KPBS Midday Edition on Wednesday. “I’m not surprised at all that an announcement like this would garner such attention.”
Lee said it isn’t common knowledge that people with HIV can still live long, healthy lives.
“HIV is a much more manageable disease,” he said. “I’m hoping that the story with Charlie Sheen will continue to bring more light to this issue.”
Ian Johnson, events coordinator at the San Diego LGBT Community Center has been living with HIV for more than 10 years. He appreciated Charlie Sheen speaking out.
“It’s OK to be living with HIV,” Johnson said. “It’s safer to have sex with me than with someone who has not had an HIV test in over six months.”
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