Charlie Sheen once again made headlines this week as a curious audience watched in shock as Hollywood’s notorious bad boy announced that he was HIV positive on live television. In an exclusive interview with Good Morning America, Sheen shared the heartache of the diagnosis that occurred just four years ago, which has been treated with a cocktail of medicine over the past few years.
Sheen’s announcement instantly made him one of the most notable celebrities to publicize the diagnosis, a brave act by any standard. Though the disease and treatments have come a long way since the early 1980s, admitting to being HIV positive or having AIDS can still be difficult even today, especially with so much at stake. Add in the spotlight of stardom and the criticism of being a celebrity and this kind of announcement can be catastrophic to any red carpet career, even for someone as wild as Charlie Sheen.
Because HIV can affect anyone, male or female, young or old, celebrity or not, Sheen’s public announcement led us to wonder, “How many celebrities have HIV?” From world renowned athletes and musicians to Broadway composers and political commentators, we found 21 celebrities you probably had no idea are HIV positive. With brave accounts of their diagnoses and treatments to their life stories and even their goodbyes, we’ve uncovered it all.