Charlie Sheen say he's been 'called to a higher order'

When Charlie Sheen announced to the world that he was HIV positive in 2015, the sale of HIV test kits skyrocketed, a recent study said. And researchers are attributing the sales boost to the actor.

The week that Charlie announced his news on national TV, sales of at-home test kits for the virus rose 95 percent, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Southern California and San Diego State University. Even a month after the announcement, sales were 60 percent more than normal.

There's now a name for it: The Sheen Effect.

"In total, there were 8,225 more sales than expected around Sheen's disclosure, surpassing World AIDS Day by a factor of about 7," the researchers write in their published paper.

TMZ caught up with the actor, and while he seemed to be well aware of the statistics, he didn't say he was the sole catalyst for the sales, saying instead that it was likely "a confluence of a lot of different elements."

"I think people just saw what happened to me and said, 'I better take a little bit of precaution,'" he said. "It's exciting and it's great to be of service of that level because if you can take the steps to find out, then you're protecting yourself as well as others."

Since he came out with the positive diagnosis, Charlie said his life has been "elevated in a lot of ways."

"I've been called to a higher order," he said. "I've been — I don't want to say tasked — but in some ways, yeah, in other ways gifted with an opportunity to help a lot of people. And that's what I'm doing."

Theodore L. Caputi
Theodore L. Caputi
Economics & Health Researcher

My research interests include public health, health innovation, and health care.