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Martin Sheen speaks out on Charlie Sheen's HIV announcement

Martin Sheen says he's proud that his son Charlie Sheen went public with his HIV diagnosis.

Actually, he says he urged him to do it.

Charlie Sheen is HIV positive 00:59

"He had been leading up to this sort of story for several months, and we kept encouraging him to do it," Martin said Tuesday night while at The Ritz-Carlton beach resort in Naples, Florida, per the Naples Daily News. "And he kept backing away and backing away because it was like going to his own execution, I guess."

Martin, 75, was there as part of CME Group's Global Financial Leadership Conference and spoke on a panel alongside Kevin Spacey and Bob Schieffer.

Charlie, 50, announced that he his HIV-positive during a visit to the "Today" show Tuesday.

"This morning, as I watched him alone, reveal his deepest, darkest secret, I couldn't believe the level of courage I was witnessing, and that it was my son," Martin said. "I left him a message, and I said that if I had that much courage, I would change the world."

On Tuesday, the former "Two and a Half Men" atar said he would do his part to help raise awareness and assist others who also have HIV.

"It started with what I thought was a series of crushing headaches," he explained. "I thought I had a brain tumor. I thought it was over," he said, adding, "It's a hard three letters to absorb. It's a turning point in one's life."

Martin revealed that the family wasn't sure -- even on Tuesday -- if Charlie would go through with the announcement.

"We didn't know until he walked on the set this morning that he was going to do it," Martin Sheen said. "I saw him Saturday night, my wife and I went to see him, to make sure he knew we were behind him, and if he wanted me to go, I would have canceled this event. He said, no, this was his and his alone."

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