The controversial Australian doctor currently practicing in Mexico who claims to have successfully treated HIV-positive actor Charlie Sheen through a goat-milk derived alternative therapy was given some serious — and seriously unchallenged — Real Time on HBO last night, though Sheen’s return to the conventional treatments that saved his life was barley acknowledged by the doctor or host Bill Maher.
“People are going to attack me just for having you on,” Maher said during the one-on-one interview with Samir Chachoua that took top-of-the-show spot on Friday’s Real Time With Bill Maher. And indeed they did.
Peter Staley, an AIDS and gay rights activist whose foundational work with ACT-UP and its spin-off the Treatment Action Group was profiled in the Oscar-nominated 2012 How to Survive a Plague, posted a Facebook message saying, “This is the last thing AIDS activists need to be dealing with right now. But we’ll have to, because I know for sure that some folks will end up dead because of all this. This is a form of AIDS denialism, and it just had its big HBO premiere.”
Chachoua made headlines when Sheen sought the alternative treatment in Mexico shortly after making his HIV status public. In a controversial episode of The Dr. Oz Show, Sheen said that he’d abandoned his HIV medications in favor of Chachoua’s “Induced Remission Therapy” treatments, while Chachoua stirred more uproar by claiming he had injected himself with Sheen’s blood to prove the effectiveness of his treatment.
Maher, impressed with the transfusion stunt, said, “Dr. Oz said that is very inappropriate. What I thought was that’s confidence.”
Though Maher asked Chachoua why Sheen went back on traditional treatment, Chachoua skirted the subject. Neither Maher nor Chachoua mentioned that Sheen’s own manager confirmed to People magazine in December that Sheen was back on his conventional HIV meds. “He tried a cure from a doctor in Mexico but the minute the numbers went up, he started taking his medicine,” manager Mark Burg said. “He said he would start on the plane on the way home and that is exactly what he did.”
The segment has not been posted to Real Time‘s Youtube page. If and when it goes up, we’ll link.