Charlie Sheen on his HIV: ‘It’s impossible others were infected’

After four years and millions of euro worth of pay-outs, Charlie Sheen has finally opened up about his HIV diagnosis.

Following a tabloid leak last week about a "mystery actor" with the virus, and a number of reports yesterday suggesting Charlie was the star involved, all was revealed today on a live TODAY Show interview.

Speaking to host Matt Lauer, Charlie described the feeling of being told he had HIV "roughly four years ago". He first visited a doctor after suffering a series of terrible headaches and unexplained sweating.

"I thought I had a brain tumour. I thought it was over," he confessed.

"It's a hard three letters to absorb. It's a turning point in one's life."

The actor is father to five children by three different women: Cassandra, 30, with ex-girlfriend Paula Profit; Sam, 11, and Lola, 10, with ex-wife Denise Richards; and twins Bob and Max, 6, with ex-wife Brooke Mueller.

Given that he split from his third wife, Brooke, in 2011, it seems his diagnosis came after that time.

Asked if he may have transferred the virus onto any of his sexual partners before or since the diagnosis, Charlie insisted it was "impossible" that anyone else was infected.

"I always led with condoms and honesty when it came to my condition," said Charlie, in a letter written to the TODAY Show host before this morning's live interview.

Despite trying for years to keep his diagnosis a secret – something that involved a number of gagging orders – Charlie said he had to come clean to put a series of nasty rumours to rest.

"I am in fact HIV positive," he told Lauer.

"I have to put a stop on this onslaught, to this barrage of attacks, of sub-truths and very harmful and material stories [that say I was] threatening the health of so many others, which couldn't be farther from the truth."

Just this morning it was reported that the Two And A Half Men star could face jail if it was proven in court that he knowingly had unprotected sex without informing his partner of his health status.

In Calfornia, it is a crime for someone to have unprotected sex when that person knows he or she is infected with a "communicable disease" (such as HIV). 

Today, Mail Online is reporting an exclusive which details Mr Sheen's many personal troubles – following on from the reported drug and alcohol binges in 2011 that saw him get fired from Two And A Half Men.

Saying he has become a "recluse in his own home," the website adds that the actor is addicted to crack cocaine, which he would smoke while repeatedly watching his old movies.

Speaking about the feeling of going public with his HIV diagnosis, Charlie said: "I release myself from this prison today."