Charlie Sheen has tossed his HIV drug therapy regimen out the window in favor of an unproven alternative treatment, and it is already having negative consequences.
When Sheen first announced his HIV positive status in an interview with Matt Lauer, he said his viral load had been brought down to undetectable levels thanks to an intensive, FDA-approved drug treatment program. But now, Sheen is putting it all on the line to try out an unproven, alternative treatment in Mexico, and the results could be disastrous.
"I'm been off my meds for about a week now," he said during an appearance on The Dr. Oz Show Tuesday. "Am I risking my life? Sure. So what? I was born dead. That part of it doesn't faze me at all."
Sheen is now being treated by Dr. Sam Chachoua in Mexico, who Dr. Oz pointed out is not licensed to practice medicine in the U.S. Chachoua claims to be developing an HIV vaccine, and while Sheen did not go into much detail about what his new treatment involves, he did share one scary detail: he injected himself with Sheen's blood.
"I drew some blood from him and I injected myself with it and I said, 'Charlie, if I don't know what I'm doing, then we're both in trouble now, aren't we?'" Chachoua told Oz during a phone call.
Chachoua claims he cured Sheen, but lab results tell a very different story: Sheen's viral load has actually gone way up since he began working with the alternative doctor.
"I'm a little off my game because right before I walked out here, I got some results I was disappointed about," he told Oz. "I had been non-detectable, non-detectable and checking the blood every week, and then found out the numbers are back up.
"I didn't see it as Russian roulette. I didn't see it as a complete dismissal of the conventional course we've been on. I'm not recommending that anyone — I'm presenting myself as a type of guinea pig."
Sheen's American doctor appeared on the show, begging him to restart his original antiviral therapy and not throw his life away.
"It would just break my heart if you did anything where you threw that opportunity... away and went back to where we were several decades ago," said Dr. Robert Huizenga, referring to the lack of treatment available to HIV patients in the ‘80s and ‘90s. "It would just break my heart if we were to risk returning to that horrible part of our history."
So knowing that his health is already suffering, will Sheen abandon his sketchy new plan? He did say he would start taking his original meds on the plane during his trip home to Los Angeles, but it wasn't clear if he was joking or not.
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