Following his bombshell HIV-positive diagnosis, Charlie Sheen is promoting safe sex as a brand ambassador for condoms.
The 50-year-old actor, who went public with his health battle last November, is the new face of LELO HEX condoms.
“There’s an odd combination now of people still wanting to be like me or experiencing my life, but there’s a little detail they want no part of,” he grins in a promotional video for the company. “So they can avoid that by using this!”
Sheen says it was “powerful” to learn that the number of internet searches on the virus increased after he went public, and that he’s “proud to have turned something which seemed so completely negative and life-disruptive into change and healing.”
The Two and Half Men star found out he was HIV-positive in 2011, after he went to the hospital with a suspected brain tumor. He says he has now learned that “five seconds of inconvenience can prevent a lifetime of potential grief and suffering,” and that HIV shouldn’t be swept under the rug.
“It’s a dialogue people don’t want to have. A lot has to do with that fantasy belief that that could never happen to them and that’s something I can speak to. I pretty much felt the same way – ‘That stuff’s for other people.’”
While Sheen faced dark times following his diagnosis, he tells People that he eventually experienced a “shift between curse and opportunity to really do something heroic and really contribute to something that really matters."
"You can only walk around like 'woe is me' for so long before you either stay there, or you wake up and do something about it," he told the magazine.
After initially taking an “AIDS cocktail” of antiretroviral drugs, then undergoing alternative treatment in Mexico, Sheen is now midway through a 14-week drug trial by CytoDyn. He says the weekly shots have no side effects and are helping him move on and look to the future, which he hopes will include, “getting back to people talking about my work again.”
Having publicly lived a lifetime of scandal, the father-of-five believes the silver lining of his clouds of controversy is that he’s now able to bring much-needed attention to the rarely talked-about issue.
“I guess certain things happen for a reason," he continued to People. "And maybe all of the stuff that I've done professionally, to garner such attention and fanfare and whatever else – good or bad – was sort of leading to a greater calling, a deeper calling, rather than fiction. I’ve usually made lemonade out of lemons. So this is another example of that.”
See more about Sheen’s troubles in the video below.