"Sheen Effect" boosts HIV testing, and effect lasts

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"Sheen Effect" boosts HIV testing, and effect lasts. Sharrie Williams reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on May 18, 2017. (WPVI)

Actor Charlie Sheen has a bad boy reputation.

But the "Sheen Effect" was good for HIV awareness.

After Sheen's November 2015 announcement that he was HIV positive, sales of the OraQuick rapid home HIV tests jumped 95%.

And they stayed high for a month.

That overshadowed the impact of World AIDS Day, which only increased sales by 30%. And that increase only lasted for a week.

Study leaders say it may signal ways to get more Americans to know their HIV status.

It's especially important, because 1 in 8 HIV positive Americans do not know their status and are responsible for most of the new infections.

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