Jonathan Van Ness, ‘Queer Eye’ Star, Comes Out As HIV Positive
Jonathan Van Ness, star of the popular Netflix show Queer Eye, has publicly revealed his HIV status in preparation for his tell all memoir set to come out later this week.
Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love is Van Ness’s first book, where he reveals bombshells from his past. The release of the book has been on the reality star’s mind for quite some time, as he prepares to be more vulnerable than ever before.
“I’ve had nightmares every night for the past three months because I’m scared to be this vulnerable with people,” Van Ness said.
In a preview of the book with the New York Times, Van Ness talked of sexual abuse he suffered as a boy, drug and sex addiction and his HIV status.
At 25, Van Ness was working in a salon when he fainted while highlighting a client’s hair. The next day he went to Planned Parenthood, where they diagnosed his flu-like symptoms. He tested positive for HIV.
“That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be,” he writes.
The HIV diagnosis is not the only thing that Van Ness has had to overcome. As a boy, Van Ness was abused by a much older male from his church. He believes “for a lot of people who are survivors of sexual assault at a young age, we have a lot of compounded trauma.”
Van Ness also talks about his own sexual addiction. As a boy, he would log on to the AOL Chatrooms to meet older men, and meet up with them for sex. One man, he recounts in the book, “turned whiter than Ann Coulter’s fan base” after learning he was underage.
In another section, Van Ness talks about his college experience, which only lasted a year. After blowing his monthly $200 allowance on cocaine, Van Ness started selling his body and sexual favors for money.
Van Ness says he is now healthy and now describes himself as an out-and-proud “member of the beautiful H.I.V.-positive community.”