Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye Star, Reveals HIV Diagnosis

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Jonathan Van Ness, one of the stars of Queer Eye on Netflix, has made a pair of startling revelations.

Ahead of the release of his memoir, "Over the Top, which hits shelves September 24, Van Ness just opened up to The New York Times about his health and history of addiction.

Jonathan Van Ness

“I’ve had nightmares every night for the past three months because I’m scared to be this vulnerable with people,” the fashion and beauty guru told the publication, adding:

“There are issues that need to be talked about.”

In the aforementioned upcoming biographies, one of the revelations Van Ness shares is that he tested positive for HIV when he was 25, after fainting while working on a client’s hair.

“That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be,” he writes in the book, according to the newspaper.

Van Ness went on to say he thinks of himself a proud “member of the beautiful HIV-positive community” and hopes that his transparency surrounding the subject will shut down typical misconceptions.

“When Queer Eye came out, it was really difficult because I was like, ‘Do I want to talk about my status?’” he told the newspaper, noting that the political climate swayed his decision.

“I do feel the need to talk about this," he added.

Jonathan Van Ness Picture

This is not all the star confesses, however.

He also opens up in his memoir about having been abused by an older boy at a young age, which “planted the seed for other self-destructive behaviors,” according to the this same newspaper feature.

“For a lot of people who are survivors of sexual assault at a young age, we have a lot of compounded trauma,” he explained to the newspaper.

As a young teenager, Van Ness recalled how he would meet up with older men and that, after using up his money on drugs in college, he “advertised sex for money on Gay.com."

By the time he was in his early 20s, Van Ness was using methamphetamine and ended up going to rehab twice, the publication writes.

Thankfully, however, Van Ness says he has not used drugs of any sort in years.

Jonathan Van Ness image

Queer Eye is a spinoff of Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

It premiered in February of 2018 and has since amassed a very large following.

“These are all difficult subjects to talk about on a makeover show about hair and makeup,” Van Ness adds. “That doesn’t mean Queer Eye is less valid, but I want people to realize you’re never too broken to be fixed.”

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Elsewhere in this interview, Van Ness addresses the pressure to live out his Queer Eye persona when meeting fans in real life.

“If you’re having a terrible moment or in the middle of a conversation about something serious, people don’t care,” he explained. “They want their bubbly J.V.N. and to get that major selfie.”

However, he concluded on a positive note:

“I want people to realize you’re never too broken to be fixed.”

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