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HIV positive Olympic legend Greg Louganis to Charlie Sheen: You ‘can be here for a long time’

As we all know by now, Charlie Sheen this week became one of the most famous persons in America living with HIV.

Olympic diving legend Greg Louganis has been doing it for 27 years.

The winner of four Olympic gold medals in diving went public with his HIV status in 1995 upon the release of his autobiography Breaking the Surface.

He watched this week as Sheen went public with his status during an interview on The Today Show on Tuesday.

‘This is such a wonderful, teachable moment because we have gotten complacent about HIV-AIDS,’ the 55-year-old Louganis tells Entertainment Tonight.

The HIV-AIDS activist and actor is still involved in US diving as a mentor and says he would love to sit down with Sheen soon.

‘I’m most concerned for him because I suffered from depression and was treated for it,’ he says. ‘Those are issues that can really inhibit your health and well-being. You realize, “Ypu know what? This is just a part of my life and as long as I take care of myself then I can be here for a long time.’

At the time Louganis was diagnosed in 1988, the disease was an almost certain death sentence and it would be eight more years before life-saving drugs became available to the public. Louganis kept his diagnosis secret and went on to compete in his third Olympics coming away with his third and fourth gold medals.

Louganis, who had suffered from depression even before his diagnosis, now uses yoga and meditation to stave off the darkness and has been off of psychiatric medications for 15 years now.

If he does meet with Sheen, Louganis says the first thing he would do is give him a hug and say that ‘I’m here.’

FILE UNDER: HIV-AIDS

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