A lot has happened to Charlie Sheen in his nearly 55 years — a milestone he celebrates on Sept. 3. The Hollywood actor is as famous for his wild spirit as he is for his impressive resume. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Charlie appeared in such major motion pictures as Platoon, Wall Street, Young Guns, Hot Shots!, and The Three Musketeers. Moving from film to TV, he went on to become a Golden Globe winner for Spin City, and earn major fame for Two and Half Men.
But on the flip side is his decades-long and highly public struggle with drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, and potential domestic violence.
Charlie and his ex-wife Denise Richards went through a tumultuous divorce that was finalized in 2006. He’s had numerous engagements, has been married three times, and is the father of five children.
In 2015, Charlie shared his HIV-positive diagnosis, and has been largely under the radar since. So what happened to him?
He’s also inspiring HIV awareness.
Though he initially paid millions of dollars to keep his HIV diagnosis under wraps, as CNN reports, Charlie finally shared the news himself to Matt Lauer on The Today Show in November of 2015. He learned the news himself after headaches and night sweats led him to get evaluated.
“After a battery of tests … they walked in the room and said, ‘Boom, here’s what’s going on,’” Charlie said. “It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life.”
Little did he know that his openness about his HIV diagnosis would spark the “Sheen Effect,” which involved increased Google searches around the virus and led more people to get tested themselves.
The week of his announcement alone, sales of at-home test kits for the virus rose 95 percent. That’s according to researchers at the University of Southern California and San Diego State University, as Business Insider reports.