Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness says he's HIV positive

Jonathan Van NessImage copyright Getty Images

Queer Eye star, Jonathan Van Ness, has revealed he's living with HIV.

The 32-year-old opens up about his condition for the first time in his new book, Over The Top, in the hope it'll break the stigma surrounding HIV.

The hair stylist who shot to fame on the Netflix makeover show told the New York Times: "I've had nightmares every night for the past three months because I'm scared to be this vulnerable with people."

He says he's been preparing himself mentally for much of the summer for the release of the memoir in which he also talks about being an addict and a survivor of sexual abuse.

Instagram post by jvn: Having the opportunity to write my book and share my story with you is the most important opportunity I’ve ever had. The first article about the book came out today from the @nytimes & 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 humor, joy and voice & I can’t wait to share it with you fully. Thanks so much for your support so far, it means the world. Article link in bio 🏳️‍🌈 📸 Isak Tiner words by Alex HawgoodImage Copyright jvn jvn Report

But he says they're issues that have to be heard.

"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 says.

"These are issues that need to be talked about."

And, he's been flooded with messages of support from fans and friends.

Instagram post by davidfurnish: Dear Jonathan,  Thank-you for bravely sharing your HIV+ status with the world.  You are another shining example of a life lived fully and positively with HIV.  Our world needs more heroes like you.  I’ve watched every episode of @queereye and I’m in constant admiration of how you and your comrades build bridges by finding the common humanity within a politically divided America.  I hope to meet you one day.  Love, David  @jvn @ejaf #LoveIsTheCureImage Copyright davidfurnish davidfurnish Report

Skip Twitter post by @at0ong

@jvn has just reveals he is living with HIV+. In other word, he has just given voice & hope to millions. We don’t deserve him! We clearly don’t! I’m tearing up 😭😭♥️♥️ #JonathanVanNess

— NOBODY 🥀 (@at0ong) September 22, 2019

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End of Twitter post by @at0ong

Skip Twitter post by @KerriKezzbox

@jvn I love you. You are brave, sweet and just all round a lovely person. Talking about your HIV status must have been difficult. I'm proud of you..xxx

— Kerri Maguire (@KerriKezzbox) September 22, 2019

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End of Twitter post by @KerriKezzbox

In the book, he talks about how he discovered his status.

Aged 25, he fainted while he was working as a hairdresser, so he visited non-profit organisation Planned Parenthood the next day and tested positive.

"That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be," he writes.

But he says he is healthy and now describes himself as an out-and-proud "member of the beautiful HIV positive community."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The Fab Five – Jonathan Van Ness, Bobby Berk, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Karamo Brown

When Queer Eye was re-booted in 2018 with the Fab Five – as Jonathan and his four stylish friends are known – he says he didn't know whether to come out with his status or not.

"It was really difficult because I was like, 'do I want to talk about my status?," he says.

"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.'"

The revelation comes less than a week after former Welsh rugby captain Gareth Thomas announced via Twitter that he is HIV positive.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Gareth Thomas after finishing Ironman Wales on 15 September 2019 in Tenby

The 45-year-old former Welsh international rugby captain said keeping a secret had been the hardest part of the diagnosis – he too has received praise from all over the world for coming out to break down barriers surrounding the condition.

Image copyright Getty Images

Jonathan Van Ness also acknowledges that the stigma around HIV is still hard to overcome.

"These are all difficult subjects to talk about on a makeover show about hair and makeup," he explains.

"That doesn't mean 'Queer Eye' is less valid, but I want people to realize you're never too broken to be fixed."

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Original Article