A few days ago, 50-year-old Charlie Sheen broke the news that he was diagnosed with HIV during an interview with Matt Lauer. He spoke about living with the disease for the last four years, denying that he had transmitted it to any of his sexual partners and revealing how he had been hounded by threats of exposure and blackmail over time. He said last Tuesday:
“I am here to admit that I am, in fact, HIV-positive. I have to put a stop to this mirage of attacks of subtruths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me that are threatening the health of so many others.”
The announcement led to messages of heartfelt support throughout the Hollywood community, as well as those of misinformed outrage from people who failed to understand the nature of the disease.
And now, a former co-star on Two and a Half Men has shared her thoughts on Sheen's HIV revelation. In particular, speaking to SiriusXM on November 18, actress Jenny McCarthy spoke of how those involved in the show had to sign papers before taking on a role, showing any medication they were taking. She said:
"The thing that I think, also, [is that] in the acting world… before doing a job, we have to sign papers that say, ‘Do you have cold sores?’ and you have to sign a release that says, ‘Yes, I have cold sores,’ and you have to show the medication.”
"That could've been valuable information"
Addressing the requirements for medical transparency in the industry (where one had to disclose something as minor as a cold sore), she wondered how all this time, nobody knew of Sheen's HIV diagnosis. In the show, she played one of the character's many love interests. She continued:
“[But] if I have to be so upfront about a herpe, how could you not be upfront about HIV? I look back and I think, ‘Okay, that could’ve been valuable information.’ Look at how many people have played his love interest on the show.”
Above all, McCarthy expressed her concern about having physical contact with the actor. Over the years, she has also claimed to be very "STD-phobic," adding:
“I wouldn’t sleep with anybody until I got the right paperwork, so the fact that playing his love interest on the show, I go like ‘ick, ugh, that’s not fair’.”