Charlie Sheen Recalls Suicidal Thoughts After HIV Diagnosis and Jokes About 2011 "Roid Rage" Meltdown

The former Two and a Half Men and Anger Management actor revealed his diagnosis in 2015

By Corinne Heller Jan 11, 2017 4:11 PMTags
Charlie Sheen, ABC NewsABC News

It has been more than a year since Charlie Sheen revealed his HIV diagnosis and almost six years since he underwent his now-famous public meltdown, which he now calls his "roid rage."

The former Two and a Half Men and Anger Management actor, who is currently promoting his new comedy movie Mad Families, had revealed in November 2015 that he had been diagnosed with the virus, once considered a rapid death sentence. In an interview with ABC News' Michael Strahan that aired on Good Morning America Wednesday, Sheen recalled how he "immediately wanted to eat a bullet" the day he learned he was HIV-positive.," he said. "I wouldn't do that in front of her or let her find me to clean up that mess." 

HIV/AIDS in Hollywood: A History

Sheen had said in a letter in 2015 that his HIV diagnosis led him into a downward spiral of substance abuse, which he called a "suicide run," adding, "Problem was, I'd forgotten that I'm too tough for such a cowardly departure. Yet, despite this loathsome and horrific odyssey, I was vigilant with my anti-viral program."

He told Strahan he feels good nowadays, adding, "Like all of us, some days are better than others but most days are pretty frickin' cool. I walk out in the world and it's just warm hugs and compliments and there's nothing but love out there right now."

Charlie Sheen's Troubled Times

Sheen told Strahan that for the past eight months, he has been enrolled in an FDA study for an experimental HIV drug called PRO 140. Biotechnology company CytoDyn Inc., which developed the drug, announced Wednesday it had filed a request for Breakthrough Therapy Designation with the FDA for PRO 140 as a treatment for HIV-1 infection in patients who have not responded well to antiretroviral therapy (ART).

"We are very close to being approved and it is not this hideous cocktail that leads to so many side-effects, emotionally and physically—it's one shot a week," Sheen said. "It's going well and I feel like I'm carrying the torch for a lot of folks who are suffering from the same thing." 

Charlie Sheen Does Not Have AIDS

Sheen revealed his HIV diagnosis more than four years after his 2011 public meltdown, which had followed a rehab stint.

He went on profanity-laced tirades, spewing phrases such as "tiger blood" and "winning," and slammed the co-creator of Two and a Half Men, which got him fired from the show. When asked at the time if he was on drugs, he told ABC News that was "banging seven gram rocks" and "I am on a drug. It's called Charlie Sheen!"

The actor told Strahan he had undergone a "roid rage."

"I was doing way too much testosterone cream," Sheen told Strahan. "Trying to keep the old libido up. It metabolizes into basically a roid rage. That whole odyssey. That was basically an accidental roid rage. But there's some good quotes that came out of it, right? There's a few fun moments. So bizarre, so bizarre, so bizarre."

"I think ultimately, in our blueprint, in our DNA, I believe that we are the sum total of all of our experiences, good and bad. But they don't lead the charge," he said. "It's fun to kind of watch sometimes but also just a little bit cringeable. It's like, 'Dude, what the hell was that?'"