Former “Who’s The Boss?” Child Star Reveals He’s HIV Positive
Former Whos's The Boss? star, Danny Pintauro, revealed Saturday (Sept. 26) that he's been living with HIV for more than a decade.
The 39-year-old revealed the news during an episode of the OWN Network show, Oprah: Where Are They Now. "I wanted to tell you this a long time ago, but I wasn't ready—I'm ready now, that I'm HIV positive, and I have been for 12 years," he said.
According to the Huffington Post, part of why Pintauro has kept the news secret is because he wasn't sure if people were ready for a conversation of this magnitude. "It's just a big deal, you know? It's not something that people are really talking about right now," he said.
The former star, who now goes by Daniel, now wants to become an activist in the LGBT community. He says he "missed the opportunity to be a beacon of light for gay kids who were going through what I was going through because I was outed."
Pintauro regularly underwent routine HIV testing every six months, but in March of 2003, his whole world changed.
"I was living in New York at the time and completely clueless to the idea that I was positive," Pintauro explained. "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."
Later in the interview, he says wanted to explore more sexually and began using crystal meth, after a two-year relationship ended. "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," he explains. "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," he continues. "And believe it or not, I thought that I was being safe in that encounter. I know exactly when it happened."
Today Pintauro lives in Las Vegas, and works as a restaurant manager. He tells Oprah he wants to live a long life and be a beacon of light that can help make a difference to others along the journey.
Oprah: Where Are They Now? airs on Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.