Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Charlie Sheen: Shame

Back in 1982 when developing AIDS was viewed as a death sentence, I attempted suicide when I discovered I was HIV positive.

After hearing so many terrifying stories of long, agonising deaths, I just couldn’t face it.

But society’s ignorant response was almost as frightening.

Fortunately my attempt to take my own life failed and thankfully we’ve moved on from the hysterical reaction to AIDS in the 1980s.

Advances in medication and a more open-minded society have helped, but the Government is cutting funding for HIV services, there are new diagnosis every day and not everyone responds to the medication which combats the virus.

Now Charlie Sheen hasn’t helped the struggle to combat the stigma and misinformation that still surrounds the illness.

His claim that it would have been “impossible” to pass it on to other people is particularly damaging...

I understand the difficulties surrounding someone in Hollywood admitting this and it’s appalling to hear he’s been blackmailed.

Though going public about his status could have contributed towards normalising the condition - an important step in combating the spread of the virus.

Sheen is only admitted it because he was forced to do so.

It all contributes to a warped perception of the illness and turns HIV back into the sinister secret it was viewed as 30 years ago.

Joanthan Blake, also of LGSM (note the Pits & Perverts t-shirt), in the Mirror.

Bit of an odd one this, especically when you consider the Mirror's role in trying to (force) out Charlie Sheen, their awful 'Hollywood HIV panic' angle, and the incredibly shitty Fleet Street Fox article; The Hollywood actor with HIV deserves everything he gets - and worse.

But bear in mind this is in the Mirror and may only be very loosely based on what Jonathan said. 

PS A less judgemental piece from Independent Voices...

1 comment:

  1. This comment, "His claim that it would have been “impossible” to pass it on to other people is particularly damaging..." is very weird and in itself quite damaging. Obviously Jonathan may not have been accurately quoted by Sheen - backed up on tv by his doctor - was simply reporting what scientists now know. If someone's HIV treatment reduces the levels of the virus to minimal levels, there isn't HIV in the sperm to pass on. That knowledge can counter stigma.