(CBS) – Numerous published reports suggest actor Charlie Sheen on Tuesday will address reports he is HIV-positive.
As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reports, people with the human immunodeficiency virus have reason to be optimistic today.
David Ernesto Munar, CEO of Chicago’s Howard Brown Health Center, says today with the right treatment HIV patients can live long lives.
Compare that to the 1991 circumstances of NBA legend Magic Johnson, who announced he was HIV-positive. Then, it was thought to be a death sentence.
“There were no effective treatments at the time. It was the height of the epidemic. We were seeing record deaths and infections,” Munar says.
Munar is himself HIV positive and learned his diagnosis in 1994.
“And I’m here,” he says. “But I didn’t think I would be.”
Hollywood PR expert Howard Bradman said he was contacted by Sheen’s representatives months ago to discuss how to make the announcement.
The actor infamously parted ways with CBS’s popular comedy “Two and a Half Men” and had a public meltdown, before reviving his career and continuing a hard-living lifestyle.
About 50,000 people get infected with HIV each year, the Centers for Disease Control estimates.
About 1.2 million people in the United States were living with HIV at the end of 2012, the most recent statistics available.