Living on a positive note: 3 Celebrities who have been open about their HIV-positivity, are on regular medicines for it, and are living a healthy lifestyle with the disease!

Living on a positive note: 3 Celebrities who have been open about their HIV-positivity, are on regular medicines for it, and are living a healthy lifestyle with the disease!
  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) has been known for many decades.
  • Diagnosis of this disease has been scary and has remained so over the years.
  • It was considered a death warrant a few years back.

But with growing research into drugs against this deadly virus, the scenario has become more hopeful, and many more people have been able to prevent the infection from progressing to AIDS disease (Acquired immune deficiency syndrome).

There are quite a handful of high-profile personalities who have unfortunately acquired this virus. They are now becoming vocal about their disease and opening up to make people aware of the condition and its risk factors.

They are also becoming the face of the disease and letting people know that they are not alone with the disease. So who are the celebrities who have this disease?

  1. Charlie Sheen-American actor Charlie Sheen has been suffering from HIV for many years. There were speculations in the media about it but it was only in November 2015 that Charlie went public with his disease on Today Show.
    Source: People (Charlie Sheen)
    Source: People (Charlie Sheen)

    He had admitted to high usage of illegal drugs and also getting involved in high-risk behavior with celebrity and non-celebrity women. He had thoughts of suicide after learning about his disease and had taken to increased drug usage due to it. But in spite of all the emotional agonies, he was strict with his anti-viral prescribed medications. He said:

“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.”

He has enrolled in a study with an experimental drug which is one shot per week. He feels that having volunteered for the study would be good not only for him but also for others who can then gain from its benefits.

2. Magic Johnson-This NBA star made the official announcement about his HIV in November 1991 during his retirement. He had admitted that he caught the virus due to his unprotected heterosexual sexual contact.

Source: NBA (Magic Johnson)
Source: NBA (Magic Johnson)

He is taking multiple drugs (anti-retroviral) for his ailment and is said to be stable with it. People and his fans feel that since he is alive and looks healthy even 26 years after the diagnosis of HIV, he is probably cured of it. But Magic Johnson made it clear that though he is on medications, he is still harboring the disease and it has just been put to sleep.

He explained:

“It’s just laying asleep in my body. The drugs have done their part and I’ve done my part by exercising and having a positive attitude about having HIV,”

He now keeps a positive outlook on life and advises his fans and people who suffer from it to also refrain from being depressed and thinking negatively. He also motivates people to get tested in case of any suspicion. He also insists on avoidance of high-risk behavior and unprotected sex.

  1. Andy Bell-The lead singer of the British synth-pop duo Erasure was diagnosed with his stigmatizing disease in 1998. He opened up about it 6.5 years later. He is one of the openly gay celebrities. He was traveling around a lot and getting drunk. He had also often resorted to unprotected sex. All this landed him into the infection.
    Source: Pledge Music (Andy Bell)
    Source: Pledge Music (Andy Bell)

    Talking about the time his fans came to know about his disease, Andy Bell said of his fans:

“I haven’t been looking on the forum on the Web site, but I’ve heard a few of them were quite upset, some saying that because you’re HIV-positive, you’re not going to last very long. But it’s nice to be living proof that it isn’t so.”

It has been nearly 20 years since he contracted the disease. Andy is taking anti-viral medications for HIV. Talking about the impact of HIV on his daily life, Andy said:

“The thing that’s tricky is when you’re travelling around so much, you have to make sure you have enough medication, especially on tour. We’ve got an Erasure tour coming up and that’s 90 shows. If there’s a flu bug going round you generally get it. You have to be so strong and healthy to carry them all through.”

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