ABC News(NEW YORK) — Golden Globe-winning actor Charlie Sheen opened up about his diagnosis of HIV, saying he feels like he’s “carrying the torch” for others battling the disease that causes AIDS.
“I feel like I’m carrying the torch,” Sheen told ABC News’ Michael Strahan in an interview with that aired Wednesday on Good Morning America, “for a lot of folks out there that are suffering from the same thing.”
“The day I was diagnosed, I immediately wanted to eat a bullet,” Sheen said. “But my mom was there, I wouldn’t do that in front of her, or let her find me to clean up that mess.”
“But then, something else came over me. They gave me a handful of pills and said, ‘You can go home now, and you’re going to live,'” he said.
“If I was there with, you know, brain cancer or, or, a stomach thing, or some meningitis,” he added. “We wouldn’t be sitting here right now.”
Sheen said he is “grateful” for the health care he has received since being diagnosed with the disease that effects more than 1.2 million people in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“I’m so grateful for what was available when it happened,” Sheen said, “and even more grateful for what’s available right now, when I’m, I’m in the middle of it, you know?”
He added that some days “are better than others. But, but most days are pretty frickin’ cool.”
The Major League actor went public with his HIV diagnosis in November 2015, four years after he was first diagnosed.
Currently, he told Strahan that he feels “really good.” After a four-year film hiatus, Sheen will return to the screen in a new movie, Mad Families, a comedy streaming on Crackle, about three families from different backgrounds forced to spend a vacation together.
Sheen said that he has been a part of a Food and Drug Administration study for a new HIV treatment.
“I am so grateful,” Sheen told Strahan, “for eight months now, I’ve been enrolled in an FDA study … for a medication for a drug called PRO-140,” adding that the drug is in the “late stages” of its trial run and “very close to being approved.”
“It’s not this hideous cocktail that, that, that leads to so many side effects and, and just, just so much disdain, you know, emotionally and physically. It’s one shot a week, and there’s no side effects,” Sheen said.
Sheen’s upcoming film Mad Families will be released on Jan. 12, 2017.
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