Yesterday (November 17) NBC made it public that Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen would soon be announcing to the world he is HIV positive. This morning, Sheen sat down with Today’s Matt Lauer to set the record straight.

“I’m here to admit that I’m in fact HIV positive, and I have to put a stop to this onslaught. This barrage of attacks and of sub-truths, and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about, that are threatening the health of so many others – which couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Sheen opened up to Lauer, speaking candidly about the symptoms leading up to his diagnosis. He also spoke about his struggle to keep his illness secret and disclosed he’s even become the victim of blackmail, forced to pay out millions to several people who have threatened to reveal his secret in the past.

“I have paid those people – not that many… but enough to bring it into the millions. What people forget is that that’s money they’re taking from my children. They think it’s just me, but I’ve got five kids and a granddaughter, you know?”