On Saturday night, Danny Pintauro, the former child star who played Jonathan on Who’s The Boss?, revealed to the world through Oprah Winfrey‘s interview show that he is HIV-positive.
He told Oprah on Oprah: Where Are They Now? in a sit-down interview, opening up about his past and how he’d been dealing with the illness for the past 12 years.
Pintauro told Oprah about why he chose to reveal the news now, and how long it took him to get comfortable discussing this:
“I wanted to tell you this a long time ago, but I wasn’t ready. I’m ready now. I’m HIV-positive, and I have been for 12 years. It’s just a big deal, you know? It’s not something that people are really talking about right now.”
Pintauro also relayed the moment he learned that he was positive, after taking blood tests in a regular, every-day doctor’s check-up:
“I was living in New York at the time and completely clueless to the idea that I was positive. I went in for a regular checkup. It was just regular blood work. You go in, and you sort of waited two weeks on pins and needles — or at least I did, because I was just terrified of the idea of getting HIV.”
The former child star told the tale of how drug use caused him to seek out more adventure than he had been used to before, admitting to using crystal meth and experimenting with all kinds of other things:
“I was doing crystal meth, which completely ruins your immune system. I’d been doing it at that point very briefly, but it was three weeks or so, off and on. I had just come out of a two-year relationship, and I discovered in that relationship that there was more I wanted to explore sexually. Crystal meth takes away your inhibitions… And if you want to explore that adventurous side, taking the drug is going to put you there. I was experimenting. And believe it or not, I thought that I was being safe in that encounter. I know exactly when it happened.”
Pintauro said he doesn’t remember the man’s name who he believes passed on the virus, though:
“I regret not knowing that, because that person has completely changed my life.”
Fortunately now, Pintauro lives with his husband, Wil Tabares, in the Las Vegas area, and manages a restaurant, where he says he hopes to one day open a bed and breakfast.
It’s great to see that he’s in a much better place now! As the interview was airing, Pintauro posted this pic on Instagram with his husband, acknowledging his new role as an activist:
Last meal as a nobody. 😉 first meal as an activist. #lifeloveliveA photo posted by Danny Pintauro (@dannypintauro) on Sep 26, 2015 at 6:11pm PDT
Good for him!
It no doubt must have been a very tough road for Pintauro to get to this point, but at least he is here now and in a better place in life!
[Image via Joseph Marzullo/WENN.]