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How Has Being HIV+ Changed Charlie Sheen?

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Michael Buckner/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Charlie Sheen is hoping some good can come out of his HIV diagnosis.

“I guess certain things happen for a reason,” Sheen, 50, told People in a recent interview. “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.”

Sheen was first diagnosed in 2011 after landing in the emergency room for what he thought was a brain tumor. But he only went public in November after years of what he called “blackmail” to keep his condition hidden. Since then, he feels liberated.

“I didn’t know how relieved I was going to feel afterwards, until I transitioned through that,” he said. “But it’s been night and day: taking the bullets out of their guns and also freeing myself. There’s such pressure, this sense of, ‘the other shoe’s going to fall any minute now.’ You can’t live like that. The stress is incredible. Every time the phone would ring, like, ‘Oh, jeez, it’s another something.’ So to have all that gone? What a relief.”

Besides being open about his HIV status, Sheen is more accepting of it, too.

“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 said.

As such, he has partnered with condom company LELO HEX as a brand ambassador.

“You spend five seconds putting [a condom] on, and you prevent a lifetime of stress, potentially,” he said.

Sheen is also more than halfway through a 14-week Food and Drug Administration-approved test trial of a new drug called PRO 140, from the company CytoDyn.

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