Reports that a "womanising actor" with HIV has sent Hollywood into a panic are undoing years of work battling stigma surrounding the disease, campaigners have said.
The Sun's report, which did not name the man,- meanwhile confirmed to be Charlie Sheen- appeared on the newspaper’s front page today with the headline “Hollywood HIV panic” and has been picked up by numerous international media outlets.
“Hollywood was gripped with fear last night after a womanising A-list actor was diagnosed with HIV,” the story
read, going on to discuss anonymous “high-profile sexual partners” who may be planning legal claims following the actor’s alleged diagnosis.
t appears to be the same story reported by Radar Online as a “bombshell world exclusive” earlier this month.
The website reported that the actor was undergoing treatment, naming drugs including one that prevents HIV transmission.
British HIV charity the Terrence Higgins Trust called the report "irresponsible journalism" at best and "an insidious headline grab" at worst.
Shaun Griffin, its executive director of external affairs, told The Independent: