According to a research, the searches on Google concerning HIV went a notch higher in the United States a few hours after actor Sheen Charlie made it public that he was HIV positive.
The investigators identified that over 2.75m more searches were made just a few hours after Sheen appeared on a US TV where he made his HIV status known.
The searches on the web were focused mainly on HIV testing as well as HIV symptoms.
The Sheen effect
On the day that Sheen made his disclosure, searches surrounding HIV went up 417% more than expected.
Searches concerning symptoms of HIV such as “HIV signs” and also HIV testing like “find HIV testing” rocketed by 540 percent and 214 percent respectively. These figures remained at the top for the following three days.
Researcher Ayers John of San Diego State University spoke to the American Medical Association Journal. She said that no person holds the right to force someone else to reveal their HIV status and also added that the disclosure that Sheen made was of a great benefit to the public health. It acted as an informative gate way even to those who may be ignorant over the matter.
“A lot still waits to be done if the scope of the benefit is to be widened and made long lasting.”
In November 2015, Sheen appeared on NBC and said that he had gone far and wide to maintain the privacy of his HIV status.
He added that he had paid out millions of cash just to keep people from speaking out anything related to his status.
In an aim to set things clear, he decided to speak out and calm all the rumors were all over. He said that four years ago he got diagnosed.
While revealing his status, he said that “I will not become the poster man for this but still I cannot stop myself from opportunities and responsibilities that will help others.”
He made it to the list of the celebrities with health issues and who caused excitement in the public domain.
A lot of work is yet to be done when it comes to educating the masses concerning HIV. Most people fail to go for the HIV testing due to fear of how their results would turn out to be. Others who have been diagnosed with the virus fear disclosing it because they are afraid that they would be stigmatized.