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When Charlie Sheen revealed he was HIV positive this morning on The Today Show, his personal physician Dr. Robert Huizenga was by his side.
“My biggest concern with Charlie as a patient is substance abuse and depression from the disease, more than what the HIV virus could do in terms of shortening his life, because it’s not going to,” said Huizenga as he talked about Sheen’s diagnosis.
Huizenga has often appeared on television to share his medical expertise. Known as “Dr. H,” the physician has appeared multiple times on The Biggest Loser as their medical expert. He focuses on treating obesity with exercise and diet rather than surgery and runs a fat loss facility in Los Angeles called The Clinic by Dr. H.
The doctor, who is also an assistant professor of clinical medicine at UCLA, was called as a medical expert in the criminal and civil O.J. Simpson trials. His first book, You’re OK, It’s Just a Bruise: A Doctor’s Sideline Secrets About Pro Football’s Most Outrageous Team, inspired Oliver Stone’s film Any Given Sunday. He wrote the book after serving as the L.A. Raiders’ team physician for eight years.
Huizenga was an immunology major at Harvard Medical School and did his residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, focusing on internal and sports medicine. He’s served as national medical correspondent for Breakaway and The Home Show, and advised on television shows and movies including Extreme Makeover, American Gladiators, Into the Wild and Shedding for the Wedding.
In a statement about Sheen’s condition, Huizenga wrote, “Four years ago, Charlie Sheen came to see me with an upper viral infection followed by joint aches, swallowing complaints and then progressive severe headaches. During this infection, his HIV tests “seroconverted” (acutely changed) from negative to positive. He was immediately placed on four antiretroviral drugs and his HIV viral blood levels thankfully dropped to undetectable. He has tolerated his antiretroviral cocktail and by faithfully complying with the daily pills, his viral HIV load has remained consistently undetectable.”
Huizenga added, “I anticipate Charlie can save many more lives coming forward with his revelation than I could ever have aspired to as a doctor. With Charlie remaining dedicated to his treatment regimen, I expect the HIV will only minimally — if at all — affect his predicted life expectancy.”
The doctor said he has known Sheen for five or six years. Here’s Huizenga speaking about Sheen’s HIV diagnosis:
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