This morning, Charlie Sheen went on the Today show with Matt Lauer to announce that he is HIV positive. He also admitted to making payments to individuals, totaling $10 million over the last four years, to keep his HIV status a secret. In light of these revelations, HIV, which would never wish itself upon anyone, particularly regrets being diagnosed with Charlie Sheen.
Despite efforts on the part of industrious PR agents and re-branding experts, there is still a terrible stigma attached to a Charlie Sheen diagnosis. “Any association with him, really, can ruin you,” said HIV in an interview. “Obviously I feel for him – no one deserves to have HIV, but by the same token, no one deserves to have Charlie Sheen. He’s just such a reprehensible, disgusting, foul-mouthed, abusive, lying, greedy, talentless scumbag. You don’t want him as the face of HIV.”
While the wealthy Two And A Half Men star was able to keep his secret for years by paying huge sums of money, HIV is not in the same financial position.
“Well, I’m not a millionaire,” said the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. “I didn’t have a hit show for ten seasons on CBS. If I could have, would I have paid Charlie Sheen and everybody else involved to keep this thing quiet so I wouldn’t have to see his name next to mine all over the internet? Absolutely.”
Over the nearly 40 years since its first cases were diagnosed, the image of HIV has evolved from a “gay cancer” that only homosexuals and drug addicts could get (often believed to be retribution for “deviant” behavior) to a preventable and treatable virus that anyone is susceptible to, regardless of sexual orientation or a presumed high-risk “lifestyle.” HIV is no longer an indicator of someone’s low moral standing.
According to Sheen’s personal physician, Dr. Robert Huizenga, Sheen has an “undetectable level of the virus in his blood,” and is diligently treating the virus with daily antiviral pills. “That’s great! I would love to not show up at all in that asshole’s blood,” HIV quipped. “Frankly, there are a ton of non-white-millionaire-celebrity people who don’t have the means to treat me, who I’m an actual threat to. Why can’t the media focus on them? None of those people is as horrible a person as Charlie Sheen.”
Despite the long road ahead of what HIV is calling “Sheen-scrubbing” its public image, it acknowledges that it did dodge a bullet.
“I guess the one thing I’m glad for is that he spent those millions as hush money, instead of, I dunno, donating it to research to find a cure for me. $10 million – yikes. I could’ve been eradicated.”