Health Crisis Privacy

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Charlie Sheen.

UNITED STATES—I was absolutely stunned to hear the news this week that actor Charlie Sheen is HIV positive. He was beyond courageous when he announced the news during a live interview with Today show host Matt Lauer. The interview was poignant, emotional, honest and showcased the actor in a very different light.

What concerned me the most was during the interview where the revelation came to light that Charlie decided to make the news public to halt having to pay a bunch of extortionists who were threatening to reveal the news if he did not pay them. This is just sick and disgusting.

Sheen was 100 percent candid while speaking with Lauer about the bombshell he dropped on American Tuesday morning. I found myself slightly conflicted with the news because as much as I think it’s imperative for the actor to acknowledge his diagnosis with those partners that he has come into contact with, I can’t help feeling that he was forced to make this announcement when he wasn’t quite ready to do so.

People are going to look at Charlie Sheen completely different, especially Hollywood, even if most of us would like to believe that is not the case, but that is a stigma that exists in that industry, especially once actors and actresses begin talking. The fact that this man had to publicly announce on national TV he is HIV positive because a group of people he ‘trusted’ were extorting money from him to keep his secret is sickening. I mean these individuals seriously have to look in the mirror and question who the hell they are to do such a disgusting thing.

I was almost proud to hear Sheen admit that by publicly announcing his health status he no longer has to worry about dishing out money, in the millions I must say to people who were living off of him because of an unfortunate situation. No more freebies people, I almost wish Sheen would have named names so that the public could shun those individuals for such behavior. To take advantage of someone when they are sick for one’s own personal gain, just upsets my stomach thinking about it. Where has we gone as a nation where people see such things as being acceptable?

It does raise the question of rather people should be FORCED to out themselves when it comes to letting the world know they are HIV positive. I mean Magic Johnson was one of the first to publicly come out and acknowledge his diagnosis nearly 20 plus years ago.

Since then, the basketball star has continued to live a healthy life. So while no cure for the disease has been found, it is indeed evident that medicine has made great strides to helping people sustain a livable lifestyle. Being diagnosed with HIV is not the end of the world, even though so many of us may think so.

I commend Mr. Sheen for his courage, his strength to disclose such a private matter in such a public manner even if it was not his intention to disclose the news to the public. The news has become a media frenzy today which begs the question, if we are doing the right thing by publicizing the news or if we should allow Sheen to deal with his health crisis in a private manner like so many Americans tend to do on a daily basis.