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What is the Charlie Sheen Effect?

Finally tired of the harassing smear campaigns he experienced, Charlie Sheen solidified his decision to disclose his HIV diagnosis. In November 2015, Sheen publicly revealed his health condition on the Today Show, gaining support from millions of people. 

The Charlie Sheen Effect began when Charlie Sheen uncovered his HIV-positive status. Not long after, sales in HIV home test kits more than doubled, and there was a 540% increase in searches related to HIV symptoms. 

Charlie Sheen’s HIV-Positive Journey

In November 2015, Charlie Sheen, known for his notable works in successful movies such as Platoon or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, revealed his HIV-positive status on a TODAY show interview with Matt Lauer. Tired of smear campaigns and countless extortion efforts, Sheen took it upon himself to announce the news.

Although Sheen only revealed his diagnosis to people he trusted, he needed to pay more than $10,000,000 to keep his status a secret.

What people forget is that that’s money they’re taking from my children. I trusted them, and they were deep in my inner circle, and I thought they could be helpful. My trust turned to their treason. That’s my goal. That’s not my only goal. I think I release myself from this prison today.

Charlie Sheen

The 56-year-old actor stated that he was already diagnosed with HIV nearly four years ago, but he still has no idea how he caught the virus. Sheen explained that he had not engaged in any reckless behavior that would make him knowingly transmit the virus. With that said, Sheen admitted to having unprotected sex with two people since his diagnosis. Both already knew of his status and are now under the care of his doctor, Dr. Robert Huizenga.

Sheen takes four pills a day to combat HIV, and although his status was deemed a death sentence in the past, his doctor isn’t worried about his diagnosis. Instead, his doctor worries about Sheen and the concern that he might develop depression or relapse into his substance abuse problems, which might inhibit him from taking his daily pills.

The Platoon actor states that he has also revealed his status to his ex-wives and his oldest daughter and that he’s not worried about his diagnosis affecting his future career. Thankfully, many people have continued supporting his continuing fight against HIV. (Source: Today

The Charlie Sheen Effect

After Charlie Sheen’s brave announcement of being HIV-positive, a phenomenon emerged as an increasing number of people opting to test themselves for HIV. According to a study entitled News and Internet Searches About Human Immunodeficiency Virus After Charlie Sheen’s Disclosure, Charlie Sheen’s disclosure triggered the highest number of HIV-related searches on Google in the United States.

San Diego State University researcher John Ayers and his co-authors discovered that searches related to HIV symptoms had a 540% increase, while HIV testing-related searches went up 214%.

Meanwhile, OraSure Technologies’ Vice President Ron Ticho reported that his company, which produces FDA-approved home HIV testing kits, experienced more than double sales a week after Charlie Sheen’s announcement.

t always helps to get people to think about something anew when there’s a particular case. Over and over when a celeb comes forward on a disease. It’s an opportunity again for people who are interested in it to revisit it.

Dr. Barron Lerner, Medical Historian

(Source: ABC News

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