Queer Eye’s Jonathan Van Ness reveals he’s HIV positive

Harriet Brewis
Jonathan Van Ness wrote about the diagnosis in his upcoming book Over the Top: Getty Images

Queer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness has revealed he is living with HIV.

The Netflix reality show star has spoken out about his condition in the hope it would break the stigma around the virus.

Writing in his new book Over the Top, the hair stylist said he discovered he was HIV positive seven years ago, after being checked at a Planned Parenthood clinic.

The 32-year-old said he felt compelled to go public with the diagnosis because of perceived LGBT discrimination in the US.

From left, Queer Eye's stars Antoni Porowski, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Bobby Berk, and Karamo Brown (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Speaking to the New York Times, he said: "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 stigmatisation of the LGBT community thrive around me’.”

In Over the Top, the Queer Eye icon describes himself as a healthy and proud member of the “beautiful HIV positive community.”

But he admitted to the New York Times he had spent much of the summer preparing himself mentally for the release of his memoir, saying he was “scared to be this vulnerable with people.”

The book also reveals his struggles as an addict and a survivor of sexual abuse – issues which he said “need to be talked about”.

Van Ness's memoirs titled 'Over the Top' will be released on September 24 (Getty Images)

In an Instagram post on Saturday, he wrote that it was a relief to share his story with the world.

"Having the opportunity to write my book and share my story with you is the most important opportunity I've ever had,” he said.

"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."

He added: "Thanks so much for your support so far, it means the world."

Within 24 hours, the post received nearly half a million “likes”.

It comes a week after Gareth Thomas revealed he, too, had been diagnosed with the virus.

In an emotional video, the Welsh rugby legend said that while revealing his diagnosis made him “extremely vulnerable”, it did not make him weak

Fighting back tears, he said: “I’m asking you to help me to show that everyone lives in fear of people’s reactions and opinions to something about them, but that doesn’t mean we should have to hide.”