Charlie Sheen told "The Dr. Oz Show" on a pre-taped segment that aired on Jan. 12 that he temporarily went off his HIV medication and tried an alternative treatment in Mexico (video below).
"I didn't see it as Russian roulette," Sheen told Dr. Mehmet Oz. "I didn't see it as a complete dismissal of the conventional course that we've been on. I'm not recommending that anybody else do this. I'm presenting myself as a type of guinea pig."
Sheen sought treatment from Dr. Sam Chachoua who told Oz in a phone interview that Sheen "is the first adult in history to go HIV negative. The conventional medicine has never done that. He was still HIV positive five years after he started his antivirals [medication]."
Chachoua added that Sheen was "the first person in history without antiretroviral therapy to go HIV negative and PCR zero. His count went back down to zero just taking my treatments."
Oz said that Chachoua was not licensed to practice medicine in the U.S., but does practice in Mexico where Sheen went to see him.
Sheen told Oz that Chachoua gave him a series of injections and did blood work that had "some incredible results early on."
Sheen said his HIV was undetectable at the time, but it didn't last.
Mark Burg, Sheen's manager, told People magazine that Sheen went back on his HIV medications on Dec. 8, 2015, after filming the episode with Oz.
"Charlie is back on his meds," Burg stated. "He tried a cure from a doctor in Mexico, but the minute the numbers went up, he started taking his medicine. He said he would start on the plane on the way home and that is exactly what he did."
While HIV may be undetectable in some who are HIV-positive, they still have the virus on a cellular level, according to medical experts.
“Even though the virus is undetectable in someone’s blood when they’re on antiretroviral medication, this virus is still working in certain cells,” Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, told Yahoo Health. “There are these reservoirs of HIV.”
“People who stopped their treatment were almost twice as likely to die as people who continued their treatment,” Dr. Jeffrey Lennox, a professor of infectious diseases at the Emory University School of Medicine, added. “It wasn’t due to AIDS, but it led to things like stroke and heart attacks.”
Dr. William Short, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and an HIV specialist, said that it is "a bad idea" for people who are HIV-positive to stop taking medication.