Sheen now an HIV activist

Actor Charlie Sheen in a video by Swedish sex-toy brand Lelo.
Actor Charlie Sheen in a video by Swedish sex-toy brand Lelo.PHOTO: YOUTUBE

NEW YORK • Standing near an ice sculpture of a phallus encased in a condom, Charlie Sheen took the stage at an event in New York City on Monday to help introduce a new condom called Hex from a Swedish luxury sex-toy brand.

He emerged shortly after a video of him, speaking frankly about his diagnosis of HIV, played on a television set in the room. As Sheen, dressed in a charcoal suit and seeming smaller and far more upbeat than the man who last November announced he was HIV-positive, appeared, the crowd gasped.

Sheen, 50, acknowledged the reaction, asking the crowd: What business does a man who has five children and HIV have hawking a contraceptive? Well, he continued, one of those things he wished he never had.

The emergence of Sheen as a hybrid spokesman- activist at the party signified a new act for the troubled actor. Since confirming his HIV status, he has started to engage in HIV/Aids activism and participated in a clinical trial of a new anti-HIV drug, becoming its de facto spokesman. He will also travel across the globe to promote the condom product for the company, Lelo.

Mr Steve Thomson, Lelo's chief marketing officer, said after Sheen's announcement, Internet searches about the disease spiked.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 17, 2016, with the headline 'Sheen now an HIV activist'. Print Edition | Subscribe