Charlie Sheen Stopped Taking HIV Meds While Seeking Alternative Treatment
January 13, 2016
In a recent television interview with Mehmet Oz, M.D., commonly known as Dr. Oz, actor Charlie Sheen revealed that he had stopped taking medication prescribed to treat his HIV and instead turned to alternative treatment in hopes of a cure.
In the interview, which included a pre-taped segment in Sheen's California home, Sheen said that following his public disclosure in November he went off his medication.
Sheen has been living with HIV for the past four years. According to health records he shared with Dr. Oz, his viral load went from 4.4 million copies in July 2011 to an undetectable level five months later. He maintained an undetectable viral load until December 2015 when he sought treatment from a doctor based in Mexico.
Despite his initial and sustained success, Sheen received experimental treatment from Samir Chachoua, MBBS, a doctor practicing medicine in Mexico, who claimed to have a cure for HIV and cancer.
"I didn't see it as Russian Roulette. I didn't see it as a complete dismissal of the conventional course that we've been on," Sheen said about his new treatment plan in the interview. "I'm not recommending that anybody else do this. I'm presenting myself as some kind of guinea pig," he added.
There is no public information on where Chachoua went to medical school, but according to Dr. Oz, Chachoua is not licensed to practice medicine in the United States. Chachoua is mentioned on many alternative medicine websites for his claims to having cured AIDS and cancer.
In a telephone interview with Dr. Oz, Chachoua said, "[Sheen] is the first adult in history to go HIV negative. The conventional medicine has never done that. He was still HIV positive five years after he started his antivirals."
"This is the first person in history without antiretroviral therapy to go HIV negative and PCR zero. His count went back down to zero just taking my treatments," Chachoua added.
Sheen said the alternative treatment included injections and blood work, which initially showed positive results. Chachoua said that he was so confident he had cured Sheen, he injected himself with Sheen's blood.
"I said, 'Charlie, if I don't know what I'm doing, then we're both in trouble right now aren't we?'" Chachoua recalled in the telephone interview.
Sheen said witnessing Chachoua inject the blood was mind-blowing. "You can see why I was developing more faith and more interest and intrigue into the path this gentleman was potentially taking me down," Sheen noted.
"It was radically bizarre, but I look at my own life in relation to that and just figure it's just another Wednesday," he added.
Despite Chachoua's dedication to his methods, Sheen vowed to return to a more conventional treatment plan as prescribed by his primary care physician, Robert Huizenga, M.D.
"Charlie knows he's been incredibly successful with this antiretroviral cocktail. It's incredibly helped him and put him in a position to live an entirely normal life," Huizenga said during Sheen's television interview. He told Sheen, "It would just break my heart if you just did anything where you threw that opportunity, incredible advance against this disease, away and went back to where we were several decades ago to when this disease was a killer."
Sheen's manager confirmed that Sheen went back on his antiretroviral treatment shortly after the television interview, which was taped on Dec. 8, according to People magazine.
Althea Fung is the community editor for TheBody.com. For her thoughts on the healthcare industry, food and other random musing, check out her personal website, follow her on Twitter or stalk her on Facebook.
This article was provided by TheBody.
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