Picture courtesy of The Daily Beast.
by Curtis L. Isom, Founder / Editor-In-Chief
In January 1990, I was 27 and beginning my final semester of my BBA degree at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas. I’m sitting all the way in the back of my Marketing 101 class in a room I called “the bowling alley” because it’s basically three to four times longer than it is wide. But had great acoustics.
The female teacher is asking the class, “How many of you in here would advertise condoms on television?” Just about the entire class, most four to six years younger than me, is saying they wouldn’t because it would promote promiscuity. Not one to be a lemming, I raised my hand and stated, “I would!” Everyone in front of me is now looking at me. The teacher, who looks like she’s about to watch a lynching, asks, “Why?” Not missing a beat I said, “There’s not one of you in here who hasn’t thought about sex if you haven’t had it. I only hope that when you are doing it, you’re being responsible. And that’s what I would promote, personal responsibility, not promiscuity”
And the teacher now looked like a fish gasping for air. Fast forward twenty-five years later and we do have condoms advertised on television. The ads seem geared more towards having pleasure than personal responsibility, but I guess you could say they are promoting the personal responsibility of giving each other pleasure. Either way, score one for the good!
But I meant every word of what I said back in 1990 and stand by it today. Take personal responsibility for your actions.
Now on November 17, 2015, Charlie Sheen goes on the “Today” show and publicly announces that he has been HIV positive for around four years now. I applaud him for having the guts to go public with something so personal. For me, it sort of gave an answer to his erratic behavior when he left “Two and A Half Men” at the height of it’s popularity. Think about it: you’re a highly successful actor with women galore and someone informs you have a incurable disease. I think I’d go crazy too finding ways to be “WINNING!”
And let me make this point perfectly clear: Charlie Sheen DOES NOT have AIDS. The advancement in antiretroviral drugs has made living with HIV more tolerable than ever before.
According to Sheen’s doctor Robert Huizenga, the actor has an “undectable” amount of the HIV virus in his system following antiretroviral treatment. However, we do not know if Sheen exposed women to HIV prior to his diagnosis, and prior to the antiretroviral drugs kicking in. Furthermore, though Sheen claims it was “impossible” for him to transmit HIV via unprotected sex, Dr. Huizenga disagreed, telling Today: “Individuals who are optimally treated, who have undetected viral loads, who responsibly use protection, have an incredibly low – it’s incredibly rare to transmit the virus,” the doctor said. “We can’t say that that’s zero, but it’s very, very low number.”
Low, but not impossible.
So why did Sheen wait so long to open up about his HIV status? Some speculate that it’s because of a 27-year-old blonde speaking anonymously to the Daily Mail talking about an actor who has slept with over 50 porn starlets, but didn’t name Sheen directly. Or maybe it’s because Charlie was finally tired of shelling out money to his extorting ex-girlfriends who know his secret. As porn starlet Sydney Leathers states to the Daily Beast, “He continued giving them large allowances after they stopped sleeping together. I was never naive enough to think he was just a Robin Hood for porn star escorts. I’m pissed that [the media] were quick to report that I was exposed, yet they protect him. Because he’s rich and famous. And I’m a societal leper.” For the record, Leathers has tested negative for HIV.
No matter the reason Sheen finally came forward, the reaction to his news was swift. And personally, I don’t think the mainstream media is protected Sheen, they are throwing him on the fire right along with the porn starlets associated with him. And very few people seem to want to applaud him for taking his personal responsibility for telling his story, instead it seems like they just want to tear him a new asshole for not telling us sooner.
I think late is better than never.
With the news out, the women linked to Charlie Sheen in the past start coming forward, some with their tales of woe. One in particular, mainstream actress Jenny McCarthy, came across as one of the most uneducated women you’ll ever meet. Her comments in totality read like although she claims to never had sex with him, just being in the same room as Charlie Sheen and having any physical contact with him could have infected her. What The Fuck? If Ms. McCarthy ever claimed she wasn’t a dumb blonde, her comments about Charlie Sheen and HIV shattered that notion.
But the majority of the women coming forward about Charlie Sheen come from the porn industry. One porn starlet at the forefront attacking Sheen is Bree Olson, with a lawyer in tow. Who didn’t see that coming? Bree Olson is one of Charlie Sheen’s former “goddesses” that you heard about when Sheen had his “infamous breakdown”. Olson, claiming Sheen NEVER told her about his HIV status, stated the following during her recent interview on The Howard Stern Show:
“He never said anything to me,” Olson added. “I was his girlfriend. I lived with him. We were together. We had sex almost every day for a year—with lambskin condoms.”
So, Charlie’s Sheen’s protection of choice is lambskin condoms. At least we can say Charlie Sheen does believe in safe sex even though latex condom are better at preventing transmitting diseases. Olson also told Stern that she wanted to use Trojan latex condoms, but Charlie didn’t. So is Olson claiming she has no say in what happens during sex with her? That she takes no personal responsibility for her body?
Don’t you just love watching a “victim card” being played?
Another former “goddess” of Sheen’s, Natalie Kenly, also says he never told her about his HIV status, but is not attacking him for his non-disclosure. Kenly is HIV negative, NOT suing Charlie Sheen, and at least one porn starlet who understands her personal responsibility. But Bree Olson, who you remember claims Sheen NEVER told her about his HIV status, told TMZ that she was there with Natalie Kenly when Charlie was having closed door meetings with his doctors. So Bree is saying Natalie did know about Sheen’s HIV status? How would Bree know that if she didn’t know herself?
What’s the truth Bree? You claim of not knowing about Sheen’s HIV status in one interview, but in another you try to disprove Kenly’s claim that she didn’t know either by saying you were there with Kenly at Sheen’s meetings with doctors. If your lawyer has caught on to this by now Ms. Olson, you bet someone will clue them in soon.
To me all this “he said, she said” is redundant and going nowhere. I’ve read where people talk about Charlie making a list of who he’s been with. I like that idea, but why stop there?. Let’s “clean the slate” and have Charlie make a list of all the women he’s been with, told about his HIV status, and the one’s he’s been paying money to and see who’s who. Get it all out in the open. But then, why don’t the ladies step up and say who’s who? They all wanted to be part Charlie’s circle and to believe otherwise is utter bullshit. They ALL knew of Charlie Sheen’s reputation for having NUMEROUS girlfriends. You couldn’t turn on the TV at one time without hearing about his latest one. Here’s a novel idea – have the ladies submit to a lie detector test. Although not admissible in court, if you fail the test, you can’t sue, can’t go on television, radio, etc…. about you and Charlie Sheen.
Save us all from hearing from more “victims” ad nausem.
And this isn’t going to be a popular position to take, but I will: It takes TWO to have unprotected sex. If you had sex with Charlie Sheen and he wasn’t using a condom, you are just as responsible for your actions as he was for his. To play the “victim card” is no more than trying to avoid your personal responsibilities and blame someone else for your ignorance. In my opinion, any woman coming after Sheen with a lawyer in tow needs to show they are HIV positive before they file a lawsuit. It’s a cruel position to take, but let’s cut down on all the “victims” trying to climb on the Charlie Sheen money train. I am not downplaying Charlie Sheen’s responsibility, just sick of seeing all these “victim cards” being played by women who accept NO responsibility for their actions.
Opinions aside, the fallout from Charlie Sheen’s HIV admission will be felt for years if people don’t come forward and be honest ASAP. Saying you’re HIV positive is a bullet no one wants to take, but if you are HIV positive, then step up and stop the possibility of spreading it any further. No amount of HIV/STD testing and retesting will make this go away any sooner if people aren’t willing to step up and take personal responsibility.
It’s better to be brave and accept your personal responsibility, than be a coward and play the “victim card”.
Some source material from The Daily Beast, TMZ, and NBC.