- NBC News
- “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness recently revealed that he was HIV positive.
- Speaking on the “Today” show Tuesday morning, Van Ness described the moment he collapsed in his salon in St. Louis, Missouri, and learned of his diagnosis.
- “I just remember … it was the moment you dread hearing, it’s the thing that I feared,” Van Ness recalled.
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Jonathan Van Ness detailed how he learned he was HIV positive in a new interview with the “Today” show Tuesday morning.
The “Queer Eye” star revealed to The New York Times over the weekend that he had been diagnosed with HIV when he was 25 years old.
Van Ness went into further detail about what led to that diagnosis on Tuesday, as he promoted his new memoir.
He told the “Today” show that he hadn’t been feeling well seven years ago, when he was highlighting a client’s hair at a salon in St. Louis, Missouri.
“It was the moment that you dread hearing. It’s the thing I had feared… it was something I’d been very fearful of as a small child.” @jvn talks about the moment he received his HIV diagnosis pic.twitter.com/Ezhvvl3ZYj
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 24, 2019
While he wasn’t feeling good, he decided to “push through.”
“I was like, let me just pull this partial highlight together and be about my day,” he recalled.
“The next thing I knew, I was on my back on the ground. I was like, ‘Oh, where am I?'”
Van Ness said he went home after that and went to bed. The next day, he went to Planned Parenthood to diagnose his flu-like symptoms and that’s when he learned that he had HIV.
He said it “was the moment you dread hearing, it’s the thing that I feared.”
“It was something that I’d been very fearful of as a small child,” he said. “I was born in 1987, so growing up in the midst of the HIV/AIDS crisis … we lost an entire generation of people.”
Talking about his HIV status was something he hesitated about when he was first cast on “Queer Eye,” Van Ness told The Times.
“When ‘Queer Eye’ came out, it was really difficult because I was like, ‘Do I want to talk about my status?” he said. “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.'”
Van Ness’ memoir, “Over the Top,” was released on Tuesday.
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