‘Who’s the Boss?’ Actor Danny Pintauro Reveals He’s HIV Positive

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Child star Danny Pintauro who starred in Who’s the Boss? reveals he has been HIV-positive for 12 years in emotional Oprah interview.

“Who’s the Boss” child star Danny Pintauro opened up about his personal life this week, revealing to Oprah Winfrey that he is HIV positive, and has been for the past decade. While appearing on Saturday’s episode of Oprah: Where Are They Now?, the Who’s the Boss? alum revealed his own experiences mixing sex and crystal meth as a means of launching a campaign to raise awareness about the problem in the gay community and to stop what he believes is an oncoming epidemic. “I am speaking out because I want everyone who continues to ‘tweak’ and party to know that it is not worth the price,” Pintauro tells PEOPLE. “I want my community to wake up, stop being complacent and start taking care of each other. It’s not something that people are talking about right now really.” Pintauro said he wants to bring public discussion back around to the illness, and is now focused on becoming an activist for the LGBT community.

You go in, and you sort of waited two weeks on pins and needles — or at least I did, because I was just terrified of the idea of getting HIV.” “There’s this awful feeling of, ‘I’m never going to be able to have a good relationship. We need to be the best we can – safe and healthy.” Pintauro’s experimentation with meth began after he ended a two-year relationship and wanted to pursue facets of his sexuality that had previously “terrified” him.

You’ve spent so much time terrified that you’re going to get it, and then you have it,” he said. “You don’t have to be terrified anymore.” While the interview was airing in the US, Pintauro posted a photo with his husband of one year, Wil Tabares, on Instagram, writing, “Last meal as a nobody. 😉 first meal as an activist. #lifelovelive.” I’m ready now, I’m HIV-positive and I have been for 12 years.’ Pintauro revealed that he missed his chance to be a role model for youngsters in his situation when he was outed as gay when he was a college student in 1997. He said it was Judith Light, who played his on-screen mother Angela on Who’s The Boss? from 1984 until 1992, who convinced him to speak to the press openly after a tabloid reporter approached him and said they would publish an article with or without his involvement. Growing up in the ’80s, when HIV/AIDS was first becoming part of the national conversation and was often explicitly – though misleadingly – labeled a “gay” disease, Pintauro (who chose to come out of the closet in 1997 after the National Enquirer threatened to out him) says that “just having a thought about a man made me feel like I had gotten HIV. It’s no good, no good.” “From my perspective, I had been trying everything I could to make sure I was safe,” he says. “If I had done anything that I thought was unacceptable, I would have freaked out so badly.

At the time of Pintauro’s diagnosis HIV was not the ‘death sentence’ it used to be due to the introduction of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), which increase the lifespan of people with the infection and limit the risk of them transmitting it to others. ‘It’s a weird combination of feelings. I should just give up on trying to find someone.’ ” Though his diagnosis came in the midst of increasing success for medical treatments and during a time when the disease was continually losing its stigma, Pintauro says, “There is so much negativity surrounding HIV and just the concept of it, that a lot of people just aren’t comfortable with it. They might say they are, but in the back of their mind, they’re terrified of it.” “And that’s okay,” he says. “I can’t force them to not be terrified of something.

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