Charlie Sheen promotes the use of condoms after HIV diagnosis in powerful new ad

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Charlie Sheen Hopes to Contribute Something That Really Matters Since His HIV Diagnosis


Following his bombshell HIV-positive diagnosis, Charlie Sheen is promoting safe sex as a brand ambassador for condoms.

The 50-year-old actor, who went public with his health battle last November, is the new face of LELO HEX condoms.

"There's an odd combination now of people still wanting to be like me or experiencing my life, but there's a little detail they want no part of," he grins in a promotional video for the company. "So they can avoid that by using this!"

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Sheen says it was "powerful" to learn that the number of internet searches on the virus increased after he went public, and that he's "proud to have turned something which seemed so completely negative and life-disruptive into change and healing."

The Two and Half Men star found out he was HIV-positive in 2011, after he went to the hospital with a suspected brain tumor. He says he has now learned that "five seconds of inconvenience can prevent a lifetime of potential grief and suffering," and that HIV shouldn't be swept under the rug.

"It's a dialogue people don't want to have. A lot has to do with that fantasy belief that that could never happen to them and that's something I can speak to. I pretty much felt the same way – 'That stuff's for other people.'"

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While Sheen faced dark times following his diagnosis, he tells People that he eventually experienced a "shift between curse and opportunity to really do something heroic and really contribute to something that really matters."

PHOTOS: Charlie Sheen through the years

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Charlie Sheen through the years
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Charlie Sheen promotes the use of condoms after HIV diagnosis in powerful new ad
Charlie Sheen, 1984. (Photo by Getty Images)
Charlie Sheen in a scene from the film 'Platoon', 1986. (Photo by Orion/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND - JULY 1: Actor Charlie Sheen in town to promote the movie 'Major League' prior to an Indians game at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium on July 1, 1988 in Cleveland, Ohio . (Photo by Janet Macoska/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
Kelly Preston and Charlie Sheen at the Fox Theater in Westwood, California (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn in publicity portrait for the film 'Navy Seals', 1990. (Photo by Orion/Getty Images)
Actor Charlie Sheen listens to court deliberations after he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery against his ex-girlfriend Brittany Ashland, Friday, June 6, 1997, at Malibu Municipal Court in Malibu, Calif. Superior Court Judge Lawrence Mira placed Sheen on 24 months court-supervised probation. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 24: Actor Charlie Sheen attends Charlie Sheen Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony on September 24, 1994 at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage)
Actor Charlie Sheen talks to the press outside court in Malibu, Calif., Monday, March 27, 2000, following a progress hearing on his probation for misdemeanor battery and drug cases. A judge granted Sheen's request for an early end to the probation, which stemmed from an attack on his then-girlfriend in 1996. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
Actor Charlie Sheen, right, of television's "Spin City," is joined by fiance and actress Denise Richards, as he arrives at the 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 20, 2002. Sheen won an award for best performance by an actor in a television comedy series. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)
Charlie Sheen holds his award backstage for best actor in a television series comedy/musical for his role in "Spin City" at the 59th Annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 20, 2002. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
Photo by: Peter Kramer STAR MAX, Inc. - copyright 2003 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED Telephone/Fax: (212) 995-1196 5/14/03 Denise Richards and Charlie Sheen at the CBS program announcements. (NYC) (Star Max via AP Images)
Actors Charlie Sheen, left and Jon Cryer open the show at the 30th Annual People's Choice Awards Sunday, Jan. 11, 2004, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Charlie Sheen, nominated for outstanding performance by a male actor in a comedy series for his work in "Two and a Half Men," arrives with his wife Denise Richards for the 11th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on Saturday, Feb. 5, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Actor Charlie Sheen is escorted through a gauntlet of photographers as he arrives for the opening night festivities at the Fashion Cafe in New York, April 7, 1995. (AP Photo/Joe Tabacca)
**FILE**Charlie Sheen and his then-wife actress Denise Richards arrive at CBS celebration on Nov. 2, 2003, in New York. Their on and off relationship is apparently off. Lawyers for the couple filed legal papers Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2006, asking a private judge in Los Angeles to handle their divorce, Sheen's publicist said.(AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)
American actor Charlie Sheen is seen during an interview with the Associated Press at the 59th International film festival in Cannes, southern France, on Sunday, May 21, 2006. (AP Photo/Jeff Christensen)
Actor Charlie Sheen, from "Two and a Half Men," arrives at the CBS Television Critics Association party at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Saturday, July 15, 2006. (AP Photo/Lucas Jackson)
Actors Charlie Sheen, right, and Jon Cryer attend the 9th annual benefit for the Lili Claire Foundation held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006 in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Phil McCarten)
Charlie Sheen, right, and Angus T. Jones watch the Los Angeles Lakers and Houston Rockets during a basketball game in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2007. Rockets won 95-93. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
Actor Charlie Sheen, left, and Brooke Wolofsky arrives at the 7th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball on Saturday, May 31, 2008, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Weeks)
Charlie Sheen accepts the outstanding actor in a television comedy series award for âTwo and a Half Menâ at the National Council of La Raza ALMA Awards in Pasadena, Calif. on Sunday Aug. 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2009 file photo, from left, Charlie Sheen, Angus T. Jones and Jon Cryer, pose for a picture backstage with their favorite TV comedy award for "Two and a Half Men" at the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards in Los Angeles. There's been plenty of comedy onscreen and tons of drama behind the scenes. It all comes to an end Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, as "Two and a Half Men," the remarkably durable hit CBS sitcom, wraps its 12-season run with a one-hour series finale. Funny or not, the conclusion will answer this burning question: Will former series star Sheen make a conciliatory guest appearance, as rumored, four years after his rancorous firing? (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
Charlie Sheen, left, and Jon Cryer, pose for a picture backstage after winning the favorite TV comedy award for "Two and a Half Men" at the 35th Annual People's Choice Awards on Wednesday Jan. 7, 2009 in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Actor Charlie Sheen, right, and wife Brooke Mueller arrive at the 61st Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2009, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Charlie Sheen blows a kiss as he arrives at the Pitkin County Courthouse in Aspen, Colo., on Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, for a hearing in his domestic abuse case. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski
Charlie Sheen performs at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Saturday, April 2, 2011. Promising "the real story," the 45-year-old former "Two and a Half Men" star hit the road for a month-long, 20-city variety show tour, with the first stop Saturday's sold-out show in Detroit.(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Charlie Sheen appears onstage at his âViolent Torpedo of Truthâ show at Radio City Music Hall in New York, Friday, April 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)
FILE - This Jan. 28, 2009 file photo shows Charlie Sheen in Los Angeles. Sheenâs publicist Larry Solters announced Thursday, April 28, 2011, that the actor will donate the profits made from merchandise sold at the Saturdayâs show to benefit Bryan Stow, a Giants fan severely beaten during the Dodgersâ home opener. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
Actor Charlie Sheen, right, talks with Kimiki Parham at the Belk Center as he visits the city of Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Monday, May 2, 2011. Sheen toured a neighborhood leveled by tornadoes and said Monday he wants to organize a relief event for victims in the state. He spent the day in Tuscaloosa meeting with storm victims and first responders. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
Charlie Sheen is seen at the "Comedy Central Roast of Charlie Sheen" on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2011 in Culver City, Calif. (AP Photo/Dan Krauss)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Charlie Sheen backstage during the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on September 18, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences/AP Images)
Charlie Sheen presents the award for best shooter at Spike TV's Video Game Awards on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2011, in Culver City, Calif. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Charlie Sheen is seen onstage at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, June 3, 2012 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)
Actor, Charlie Sheen, left, and friend Tony Todd show off their baseball bats during the seventh inning of a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds in Los Angeles, Wednesday, July 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)
Charlie Sheen and Lindsay Lohan at the LA Premiere of Scary Movie V at the Cinerama Dome on Thursday, April 11, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP)
Mike Tyson and Charlie Sheen at the LA Premiere of Scary Movie V at the Cinerama Dome on Thursday, April 11, 2013 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this April 11, 2013 file photo, Charlie Sheen, a cast member in "Scary Movie V," poses at the Los Angeles premiere of the film at the Cinerama Dome in Los Angeles. Sheen is set to âmake a revealing personal announcementâ on NBCâs âTodayâ show on Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015, NBC announced on Monday. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, file)
Actor Charlie Sheen is mobbed for autographs and photos in as he makes his way through Times Square in New York, on Monday, Jan. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4599 -- Pictured: (l-r) Actor Charlie Sheen during an interview with host Jay Leno on January 22, 2014 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MAY 12: Charlie Sheen visits 'Extra' at Universal Studios Hollywood on May 12, 2015 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
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"You can only walk around like 'woe is me' for so long before you either stay there, or you wake up and do something about it," he told the magazine.

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After initially taking an "AIDS cocktail" of antiretroviral drugs, then undergoing alternative treatment in Mexico, Sheen is now midway through a 14-week drug trial by CytoDyn. He says the weekly shots have no side effects and are helping him move on and look to the future, which he hopes will include, "getting back to people talking about my work again."

Having publicly lived a lifetime of scandal, the father-of-five believes the silver lining of his clouds of controversy is that he's now able to bring much-needed attention to the rarely talked-about issue.

"I guess certain things happen for a reason," he continued to People. "And maybe all of the stuff that I've done professionally, to garner such attention and fanfare and whatever else – good or bad – was sort of leading to a greater calling, a deeper calling, rather than fiction. I've usually made lemonade out of lemons. So this is another example of that."

See more about Sheen's troubles in the video below.

Charlie Sheen Said He Was 'Very Careful' About Using Protection in 2013 Interview

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