Charlie Sheen Opens Up About His Battle With HIV: 'I Feel Like I'm Carrying the Torch'

The actor said he's enrolled in an FDA study for a new medication.

ByABC News
January 11, 2017, 7:23 AM

— -- The Golden Globe-winning actor Charlie Sheen opened up about his diagnosis of HIV, saying he feels like he's "carrying the torch" for others battling the disease that causes AIDS.

"I feel like I'm carrying the torch," Sheen told ABC News' Michael Strahan in an interview with that aired today on "Good Morning America," "For a lot of folks out there that are suffering from the same thing."

"The day I was diagnosed, I immediately wanted to eat a bullet," Sheen said. "But my mom was there, I wouldn't do that in front of her, or let her find me to clean up that mess."

"But then, something else came over me. They gave me a handful of pills and said, 'You can go home now, and you're going to live,'" Sheen said.

"If I was there with, you know, brain cancer or, or, a stomach thing, or some meningitis," Sheen added. "We wouldn't be sitting here right now."

Sheen said he is "grateful" for the health care he has received since being diagnosed with the disease that effects more than 1.2 million people in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I'm so grateful for what was available when it happened," Sheen said, "and even more grateful for what's available right now, when I'm, I'm in the middle of it, you know?"

Sheen added that some days "are better than others. But, but most days are pretty frickin' cool."

The "Major League" actor went public with his HIV diagnosis in November 2015, four years after he was first diagnosed. He told Strahan that he feels "really good."

Sheen has come a long way from the days of his infamous quotes about “tiger blood” and “Adonis DNA.” But he doesn’t necessarily regret his controversial statements.

“I believe that we are the sum total of all of our experiences, good and bad. You know? So, yeah, for those things to have occurred, I had to absorb them. But they don't lead the charge,” he explained. “It's fun to kind of watch sometimes, but also, just a little bit ‘cringeable.’ It's like, ‘Dude, what the hell was that?’”

Sheen said that during that time period he was using “way too much testosterone cream” to “keep the old libido up” and it had unintended consequences on him. “That whole odyssey -- that was basically an accidental [steroid] rage... But there’s some good quotes that came out of it, right?... So bizarre.”

After a four year film hiatus, Sheen will return to the screen in a new movie, “Mad Families,” a comedy streaming on Crackle, about three families from different backgrounds forced to spend a vacation together.

Sheen said that he has been a part of a Food and Drug Administration Study for a new HIV treatment.

"I am so grateful," Sheen told Strahan, "for eight months now, I've been enrolled in an FDA study ... for a medication for a drug called PRO-140," adding that the drug is in the "late stages" of its trial run and "very close to being approved."

"It's not this hideous cocktail that leads to so many side effects and, and just, just so much disdain, you know, emotionally and physically. It's one shot a week, and there's no side effects," Sheen said.

Sheen's upcoming film "Mad Families" will be released on Jan. 12, 2017.