Tuesday 22 October 2019

Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness reveals he is HIV positive: 'I do feel the need to talk about this'

US hairdresser and television personality Jonathan Van Ness arrives for the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on August 26, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
US hairdresser and television personality Jonathan Van Ness arrives for the 2019 MTV Video Music Awards at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey on August 26, 2019. (Photo by Johannes EISELE / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images)
Jonathan Van Ness has revealed he is HIV positive (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown from Queer Eye, which returns for season two on Netflix in June (Netflix/PA)
Jonathan Van Ness attends the 2019 Netflix Creative Arts Emmy After Party at Hotel Figueroa on September 15, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Netflix)
Queer Eye hosts Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Antoni Porowski and Karamo Brown (Charles Sykes/Invision/AP)
Queer Eye hosts Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France and Bobby Berk (Christopher Smith/Netflix)
Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown pose in the press room during the 2019 Creative Arts Emmy Awards on September 14, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

BANG Showbiz

Jonathan Van Ness has revealed that he is HIV positive.

The 'Queer Eye' star has revealed he was told he was carrying the virus - which damages the cells in the immune system and weakens the body's ability to fight everyday infections and disease - by Planned Parenthood when he was 25 years old after he collapsed while highlighting a client's hair.

Speaking to the New York Times newspaper ahead of the release of his memoir 'Over the Top', the 32-year-old hairdresser said: "I've had nightmares every night for the past three months because I'm scared to be this vulnerable with people. There are issues that need to be talked about."

Recalling the day he tested positive to HIV, Jonathan wrote in his book: "That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be."

Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown from Queer Eye, which returns for season two on Netflix in June (Netflix/PA)
Jonathan Van Ness, Antoni Porowski, Tan France, Bobby Berk and Karamo Brown from Queer Eye, which returns for season two on Netflix in June (Netflix/PA)

Despite his devastation at the time, Jonathan believes he's "healthy" and is an "out-and-proud member of the beautiful H.I.V.-positive community."

He explained to the newspaper: "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 stigmatisation of the L.G.B.T. community thrive around me.' I do feel the need to talk about this.

"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."

Jonathan had a tough childhood growing up as he was bullied as a child, was sexually abused by an older boy, had sex for money and dabbled with drugs.

He said: "For a lot of people who are survivors of sexual assault at a young age, we have a lot of compounded trauma."

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