Jonathan Van Ness Revealed He Is HIV-Positive

Written by Kecia Gayle September 22, 2019

Jonathan Van Ness Revealed He Is HIV-Positive

“Queer Eye” star, Jonathan Van Ness has made a very bold move. For the first time in his new book, “Over The Top,” he reveals that he is living with HIV and hopes to break the stigma surrounding it by speaking out.

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The 32-year-old sat down with The New York Times for an interview published Saturday, ahead of the release of his memoir. He told the outlet that he tested positive at the age of 25, after fainting from flu-like symptoms while doing a client’s hair. “It’s hard for me to be as open as I want to be when there are certain things I haven’t shared publicly,” Van Ness said in the interview, adding, “These are issues that need to be talked about.” He recalled in his book, “That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be.”

Despite having those feelings, he says he has a goal to dispel some of the myths about being HIV-positive.

“When Queer Eye came out, it was really difficult because I was like, ‘Do I want to talk about my status?,” he explains. “And then I was like, ‘The Trump administration has done everything they can do to have the stigmatization of the L.G.B.T. community thrive around me.”

In addition to this, Van Ness also reveals in the book that he was molested as a child by an older boy from his church and explains how he dealt with that trauma.

Since speaking out, the actor said he feels even more relived. He wrote in an Instagram post,

“Having the opportunity to write my book and share my story with you is the most important opportunity I’ve ever had. The first article about the book came out today from the @nytimes & I’m relieved I can speak fully about the things that shape my experience in life. The book speaks to some extremely difficult times but it’s also filled with my humor, joy and voice & I can’t wait to share it with you fully. Thanks so much for your support so far, it means the world. Article link in bio 🏳️‍🌈 📸 Isak Tiner words by Alex Hawgood.”

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