TV star Jonathan Van Ness has revealed he’s HIV-positive ahead of the release of his memoir ‘Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love’, and described himself as a proud “member of the beautiful HIV-positive community.”
In an excerpt in the New York Times, the 32-year-old co-host of the hit Netflix show ‘Queer Eye’ writes the day he found out “was just as devastating as you would think it would be.”
“When ‘Queer Eye’ came out, it was really difficult because I was like, ‘Do I want to talk about my status?,’” he told the New York Times. “And then I was like, ‘The Trump administration has done everything they can do to have the stigmatisation of the LGBT community thrive around me. I do feel the need to talk about this.”
Van Ness also spoke about being sexually assaulted by an older boy from his church while growing up. At the University of Arizona in Tucson, he said he spent his allowance on cocaine and, when money ran out, he advertised sex for cash online. He was diagnosed HIV positive when he was 25.
“Having the opportunity to write my book and share my story with you is the most important opportunity I’ve ever had,” Van Ness posted on social media following the interview. “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 humour, joy and voice and I can’t wait to share it with you fully.”
Support from his ‘Queer Eye’ cast mates were immediate.
“Love you proud of you,” Antoni Porowski wrote. “Love you baby boy. So proud of you,” Bobby Berk added.
Tan France added: “Love you, Jacki.”