‘Who’s the Boss?’ star Danny Pintauro reveals he is HIV positive

27 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘It was terrifying and there was a sense of relief': Who’s the Boss? child star Danny Pintauro reveals he has been HIV-positive for 12 years.

Pintauro, who grew up in front of an audience as Jonathan Bower on popular 1980s sitcom Who’s The Boss?, told Oprah Winfrey that he has been living with the secret for 12 years. 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. 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. It’s not something that people are talking about right now really.” Pintauro, who came out as gay in 1997, explained that he had been forced out at the time by a tabloid magazine reporter.

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.” The actor went on to explain how “crystal meth takes away your inhibitions” and that he thought he was “being safe” during the sexual encounter that changed his life. 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. You’ve spent so much time terrified that you’re going to get it, and then you have it,” he explained. “You don’t have to be terrified anymore.” As the previously taped interview was airing, 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.”

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. There’s this awful feeling of ‘I’m never going to be able to have a good relationship, no one’s ever gonna want me’. ’It was our first date and we hadn’t even kissed and it was the first thing I told him. 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. Now, with this new revelation, he wants to embrace that role: “That’s one of the ‘beacon of light’ aspects of this whole situation that I want to take on.

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