To quell what he's called hearsay and rumors, Charlie Sheen disclosed on Today this morning (November 17) that he's HIV-positive, and that he's known for some time.

"I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that that threaten the health of so many others that couldn't be father from the truth," he says in the clip above.

Sheen said later in the interview he was diagnosed four years ago after experiencing headaches and "sweating the bed," and originally thought he had a brain tumor, and that he'd soon be dead. Then, the real news came.

"It's a hard three letters to absorb," he said, recalling his HIV-diagnosis. "It's a turning point in one's life."

Since becoming aware of his condition, Sheen claims he's been the subject of extortion, and has paid people who have been aware of his status millions of dollars to keep his condition a secret.

"What people forget is that that's money they're taking from my children," he said. "They think that's just me, but I've got five kids and a granddaughter."

"I release myself from this prison today," he concluded, noting he'll no longer pay people he said he trusted.

The actor's admission comes on the heels of a National Enquirer story that claims Sheen had been hiding his virus from unsuspecting women—and potentially spreading it to them—over the course of a year-and-a-half.

On Today, he claims to have told each of his partners the truth about his status since his diagnosis, and added he's since had unprotected sex with two people, but that they were both consenting and under the care and advisement of his doctors.

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