But it did not quell the assumption that only gay men and people who’d undergone blood transfusions were at risk of contracting the disease.
Ashe was compelled to reveal his condition in 1992 after learning that a newspaper planned to publish a story about his battle with AIDS, which he said resulted from a blood transfusion during heart bypass surgery.
Queen frontman Freddie Mercury initially refused to respond to speculation that he had AIDS, confirming his illness only one day before his death in 1991.
It’s now a familiar story: celebrities forced to reveal private medical conditions due to media hounding. Even Sheen’s actions were prompted by threats of tabloid stories.