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Jonathan Van Ness Talks About His HIV Diagnosis In New Memoir

Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness has revealed he’s HIV positive and is speaking publicly for the first time about living with the diagnosis.

In a recent interview with the New York Timeswhich ran accompanied by an extract from his forthcoming memoir Over the Top–Van Ness opens up about being diagnosed at the age of 25. After fainting at work, Jonathan visited Planned Parenthood, which is where he found out he had HIV.

Even though there are currently more than one million people living with HIV in the United States, the stigma surrounding it is still very real. After revealing his own diagnosis, Van Ness recalled his reluctance to discuss his status once his career launched him onto millions of TV screens.

“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.'”

Jonathan also goes on to speak openly about his experiences as an addict and a sexual abuse survivor.

“It’s hard for me to be as open as I want to be when there are certain things I haven’t shared publicly,” he said. “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 realize you’re never too broken to be fixed.”

After revealing such personal details about his life, Van Ness has been bombarded with support from friends, fellow celebrities, and fans who watch him on TV every week. He shared a photo to Instagram following the headlines about his HIV diagnosis thanking everyone for their support.

Jonathan Van Ness’ memoir Over The Top will be available on September 24.

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