Earlier this year, actor Charlie Sheen revealed that he was HIV-positive and the news sent shockwaves throughout Hollywood. The former A-list actor revealed that after years of unprotected sex that included drug and alcohol abuse, he became infected with the disease.
A diagnosis of HIV does not necessarily mean a death sentence if a person has access to anti-retroviral drugs. The regimen of these drugs can include multiple pills taken daily and the cost can cause a financial hardship. But now Sheen has good news about his infection that he talked about recently with a media outlet online.
According to Sheen, the virus has been fully suppressed thanks to his participation in a new clinical trial. Sheen began a virus-suppressing injection called PRO-140 early this year in the experimental trial. He did not have to take multiple pills, but rather a weekly injection of the experimental drug. Because of this injection, Sheen received news earlier this week that the virus is now completely suppressed and he cannot transmit the disease to others. This is a startling development for the drug produced by the company CytoDyn Inc., which plans to bring the injectable drug to market in late 2017 or 2018. The drug must be approved for use by the FDA. Anti-retroviral therapy drugs can cost a person as much as $10K a month if uninsured. While the drugs do not cure HIV infection, reducing the viral load and risk of transmission has changed the lives of millions. The particular injection that Sheen is taking only works on the R5 strain of the virus that approximately 70 percent of people with HIV have and accounts for 90 percent of new infections.