Charlie Sheen wanted to kill himself after he was diagnosed with HIV.

The 51-year-old actor contemplated committing suicide after doctors told him that he was infected with the human immunodeficiency virus - the agent of the currently incurable disease AIDS - but he changed his mind after he saw his mother Janet.

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Speaking on Good Morning America, he said: "The day I was diagnosed, I immediately wanted to eat a bullet. But my mom was there, I wouldn't do that in front of her, or let her find me to clean up that mess."

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But, despite the initial fear he felt after he found out he was HIV-positive in 2011, the Two and a Half Men star is "so grateful" to be alive and to be able to spread awareness.

Charlie Sheen in Two and a half men. Photo / Supplied
Charlie Sheen in Two and a half men. Photo / Supplied

He explained: "I feel really good. I am so grateful. I feel like I'm carrying the torch for a lot of folks out there that are suffering from the same thing."

Charlie is now on a trial for a new drug that he hopes will make his battle with the incurable condition more manageable because it only requires one injection a week.

He said: "Some days are better than others, but most days are pretty f***ing cool. I'm so grateful for what was available when it happened, and even more grateful for what's available right now, when I'm, I'm in the middle of it, you know?"

Charlie has now returned to work and will next be seen in the forthcoming film Mad Families and is trying to rebuild his relationship with his children Cassandra, 32, Sam, 12, Lola, 11, and seven-year-old twins Max and Bob.

He said: "It's really refreshing. You've had a terrible day ... And you come home, and your kids are like, 'Oh, my gosh. Look who's, look who's here.' "

The actor's current state is a world away from the condition he was in six years ago when he claimed he was able to do as many drugs as he wanted because he's got a "different brain, a different heart" and "tiger blood."

However, looking back on his wild antics, Charlie now thinks his erratic behaviour was down to the side effect of using too much testosterone cream.

He explained: "Dude, what the hell was that. Way too much testosterone cream, trying to keep the old libido up. It metabolises into steroids. That whole odyssey was an accidental 'roid rage."

Where to get help:

Lifeline: 0800 543 354 (available 24/7)
Suicide Crisis Helpline: 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO) (available 24/7)
Youthline: 0800 376 633
Kidsline: 0800 543 754 (available 24/7)
Whatsup: 0800 942 8787 (1pm to 11pm)
Depression helpline: 0800 111 757 (available 24/7)
Rainbow Youth: (09) 376 4155
Samaritans 0800 726 666
If it is an emergency and you feel like you or someone else is at risk, call 111.

-Bang! Showbiz