Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness reveals he is HIV-positive

Jonathan Van Ness says he didn't feel Queer Eye was the right place to reveal his HIV diagnosis. REUTERS
Jonathan Van Ness says he didn't feel Queer Eye was the right place to reveal his HIV diagnosis. REUTERS
Jonathan Van Ness says he is living with HIV after enduring a troubled past of drug addiction and childhood sexual abuse.

Ahead of the release of his memoir, Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness has revealed that he is HIV-positive, but healthy.

Over The Top, A Raw Journey to Self-Love hits shelves on September 24.

Van Ness revealed in an interview with The New York Times that he is currently living with HIV and opened up about a history of drug addiction and being a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.

“When Queer Eye came out, it was really difficult because I was like, ‘Do I want to talk about my status?

“And then I was like, ‘The Trump administration has done everything they can do to have the stigmatization of the LGBT community thrive around me.’”

“I do feel the need to talk about this,” he says in the interview.

Van Ness revealed that the death of his step-father pushed him to drug addiction. He says he was also sexually abused by another boy from his church.

The trauma of both events compounded Van Ness’ life as an addict, revealing to the NYT that he used methamphetamine and cocaine in his early 20s.

He would prostitute himself in order to fund his addiction.

But why has he waited until now to reveal the depths and extent of his troubled past?

Van Ness told the NYT that because Queer Eye was more geared towards “lighter-hearted” subjects, he didn’t feel the show was the right place to come out about his diagnosis.

“These are all difficult subjects to talk about on a makeover show about hair and makeup.

“That doesn’t mean Queer Eye is less valid, but I want people to realise you’re never too broken to be fixed,” he says.

Van Ness learned that he was HIV-positive when he was 25. After fainting in a salon in Los Angeles he checked himself into Planned Parenthood, where he received his diagnosis.

However, he says he is currently healthy and no longer using hard drugs, and sees himself as “a member of the beautiful HIV-positive community”.


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