Charlie Sheen’s recent reveal that he is HIV-positive has sparked a great deal of emotion in the pop culture and “news” worlds.

It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life. – Charlie Sheen

As rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis hit record highs in the United States this year, Charlie’s confession came at an opportune time. It’s clear that today people are more informed about the disease in comparison to when Magic Johnson revealed he was HIV-positive in 1996. Nevertheless, the stigma surrounding HIV /AIDS is still present despite small breakthroughs.

There is a drug, called PrEP, that has been proven to prevent HIV infection among people who engage in high-risk sexual behaviour: having sex without a condom, with multiple sex partners or men having sex with men. However, the drug costs anywhere from $8,000 to $14,000 USD a year and may further widen the disparities in HIV occurrence.

There is another drug, disulfiram, originally developed to treat alcoholism, that may be effective at attacking the HIV virus.

Unfortunately, Charlie’s confession also led to some concerns. Girls in the porn industry are in panic since Charlie allegedly had sex with about 50 of them after his diagnosis in 2011.

The idiotic Jenny McCarthy reacted in disgust to her longtime co-star’s diagnosis. The actress is known for her erroneous interpretations of science, famously claiming vaccines caused her son’s autism, and does nothing but to encourage further shaming of people who are HIV/AIDS survivors.

To learn more about Charlie Sheen’s diagnosis and progress, click here.

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