Former Who’s The Boss? star Danny Pintauro has commended Charlie Sheen’s recent announcement he is HIV positive.
Pintauro, 39, revealed that he has been living with the virus that causes AIDS for 12 years on Oprah last month.
— Danny Pintauro (@dannypintauro) October 13, 2015
‘This morning while I watched Charlie speak with Matt Lauer, my heart was racing. I have been there and I know that feeling. The sheer terror followed by sudden relief is powerful and life changing,’ he said in a statement to US Weekly.
‘To have Matt read those supportive tweets must have instantly affirmed to Charlie that he had made the right decision by sharing his truth.
‘It took me 12 years to get to a place where I was ready to tell the world, but in all of that time I worried that someone else would want to tell my story without my permission, which is why I decided it was time to take control of my story and sit down with Oprah.
‘I commend Charlie for realizing it was time to take control of his story.’
Sheen said he was diagnosed with HIV four years ago and has paid out ‘countless millions’ to women who threatened to reveal his status.
Pintauro lamented that the stigma around the disease prevents many people from getting tested, but he said that he believes that is about to change.
‘The effect stigma has on HIV has never been clearer – as Charlie’s story indicates, people will go to great lengths to keep others from knowing their status,’ he continued.
‘There are currently 1.2 million people living with HIV in the U.S. Sadly too many are afraid to share their status even with those closest to them. How many people are so terrified of the stigma surrounding “those three letters” that they can’t even bring themselves to get tested in the first place?
‘I believe we are on the verge of changing the way people look at HIV and I couldn’t be more fired up to do my part to affect that change.’
Sheen has also said he wants to help others living with HIV.
‘I accept this condition not as a curse or scourge, but rather as an opportunity and a challenge. An opportunity to help others. A challenge to better myself,’ he wrote in a open letter to the media.
‘My partying days are behind me. My philanthropic days are ahead of me.’