Amanda Bruce says she took medication while dating Sheen 'to help prevent the transmission' of HIV
In an interview on The Dr. Oz Show on Wednesday, Bruce explains to Dr. Oz that being a nurse and knowing the risks of HIV made her “not so afraid” of being intimate with Sheen. She also says the risk was worth it because she was in love with him at the time.
“There’s a very big scare about [HIV] out there and I think that’s just a lot of social stigma that came from back when there wasn’t treatment for this and this was a death sentence,” she says. Now, many people with HIV don’t die of AIDS, Bruce claims.
Bruce, who was introduced to Sheen by a mutual friend, admits that although the pair were intimate throughout their relationship, they didn’t begin having unprotected sex until they “decided to be exclusive.”
“I think when you really love someone, you want to get close to them – that’s something that you wanna share,” she explains, and denies that having unprotected sex with Sheen was like a game of Russian roulette.
“I think the real Russian roulette comes with not coming forward about conditions you have or having unprotected sex frequently with partners,” she explains. “The reality is, we had known each other for many months before we engaged in that and we were a couple – I was in love with him.”
And, Bruce says, Sheen was up-front about his diagnosis from the beginning.
“He was very open with me initially about this,” Bruce says. “He looked down … and he just started to cry. He told me everything about it and when he was diagnosed and how long ago that was. It was really hard for him to have to say that … It was a pretty special moment between he and I, actually. We cried together and it was sweet.”
Additionally, Bruce reveals that she met with Sheen’s personal physician, Dr. Robert Huizenga, and, after being told Sheen had “undetectable” levels of HIV in his blood, she began taking medication “to help prevent the transmission of [HIV]. She says she was told the risk of transmission was minimal even without the medication.
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Bruce tells Dr. Oz that she’s proud of Sheen, who she calls “an amazing fella,” for being so honest with the world about his diagnosis.
“We discussed it in length, about him actually doing exactly what he’s done: to come out and just tell the public about it and raise awareness,” she recalls. “As a nurse, I told him, I don’t mean to minimize what you’re feeling, but it’s really not a death sentence these days.”
She continues, “This is something that people don’t want to talk about and it’s not as scary if you talk about it and bring it to light, if you make it a reality. This is some people’s reality, some people live in a hole of being scared and fearful of society’s judgment and so their lives are deeply affected by this and it doesn’t have to be that way.”
To learn more about living with HIV/AIDS today and to contribute in the fight against the diseases, visit amfAR.org.