Charlie Sheen Temporarily Went Off HIV Medications to Seek Alternative Treatment in Mexico: 'So What? I Was Born Dead'
"I'm not recommending that anyone – I'm presenting myself as a type of guinea pig," Sheen told Dr. Oz
Charlie Sheen temporarily went off his HIV medications and sought alternative treatment in Mexico.
“I’m been off my meds for about a week now,” he said in a pre-taped segment for an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show Tuesday. “Am I risking my life? Sure. So what? I was born dead. That part of it doesn’t phase me at all.”
Sheen’s manager Mark Burg tells PEOPLE the actor resumed taking his medications Dec. 8, after the episode was taped.
“Charlie is back on his meds. He tried a cure from a doctor in Mexico but the minute the numbers went up, he started taking his medicine,” Burg said. “He said he would start on the plane on the way home and that is exactly what he did.”
During the studio interview section of the episode, Sheen said he is seeking treatment from Dr. Sam Chachoua, a physician Dr. Mehmet Oz said was not licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. Chachoua claims to be working on an HIV vaccine, and Sheen did not disclose what his treatment regimen entailed.
Oz, 55, shared part of an audio conversation he had with Chachoua, who revealed he was so confident in Sheen’s treatment that he injected some of the actor’s blood into himself.
“I drew some blood from him and I injected myself with it and I said, ‘Charlie, if I don’t know what I’m doing, then we’re both in trouble now aren’t we?’ ” Chachoua told Oz by phone.
Chachoua also claimed Sheen was “the first person in history without antiviral therapy” to be cured.
Charlie Sheen Reveals He Was Diagnosied with HIV
When Sheen went public with his diagnosis on the Today show in November, he said he had an undetectable amount of HIV in his blood – which experts say means it is virtually untransmittable if you’re safe and stay on your meds. On Oz, Sheen revealed he now has detectable traces of HIV in his blood, meaning his numbers have gotten worse.
“I’m a little off my game because right before I walked out here, I got some results I was disappointed about,” he told Oz. “I had been non-detectable, non-detectable and checking the blood every week and then found out the numbers are back up.”
Oz showed Sheen a chart of the amount of HIV that was detectable in Sheen’s blood, with the number high shortly after Sheen’s diagnosis in 2011 and plummeting after six months to undetectable levels. Those numbers stayed undetectable until recently, according to Sheen.
Sheen said he does not recommend the alternative treatment he is receiving in Mexico to everyone.
“I didn’t see it as Russian roulette. I didn’t see it as a complete dismissal of the conventional course we’ve been on. I’m not recommending that anyone – I’m presenting myself as a type of guinea pig.”
Sheen’s physician Dr. Robert Huizenga appeared in the audience to express his concern over the actor’s decision to go off of his HIV meds.
“It would just break my heart if you did anything where you threw that opportunity … away and went back to where we were several decades ago,” Huizenga told Sheen, equating his choice to ignoring recent medical advances. “It would just break my heart if we were to risk returning to that horrible part of our history.”
Oz asked Sheen what it would take to convince him to resume taking his meds, and Sheen said he would start taking them on his plane trip home from New York to L.A.
The Doctor Oz Show airs weekdays (check local listings).