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Danny Pintauro, best known for playing Jonathan Bower on the popular 1980’s sitcom Who’s the Boss? sat down with Oprah Winfrey recently on her network show Where Are They Now? and revealed that he is HIV positive, and has been for twelve years. “I wanted to tell you this a long time ago, but I wasn’t ready,” the 39-year-old star shared. Pintauro was diagnosed after a regular check up in 2003. “You know, as a responsible gay man, you’re getting an HIV test done every six months,” he said.

It was 1997 when Pintauro revealed to the public that he’s a gay man. Unfortunately, he was pressured into sharing this aspect of himself when a National Enquirer reporter informed him that he’d be outed with or without his consent. But Pintauro took charge of the situation by speaking to the tabloid reporters, making sure he wasn’t misquoted, and giving the kinds of answers that he wanted stated about him instead. Ultimately, he felt great about the article that was written about him.

Danny described to Oprah the “weird combination of feelings” the diagnosis stirred up in him, saying, “There’s this awful feeling of ‘I’m never going to be able to have a good relationship, no one’s ever going to want me.’ That was there and that was prevalent. You know, that moment of ‘Oh God, I’m now going to have that conversation every time I meet someone. Who’s going to want to love me?'”

But these dreadful thoughts did not stop Pintauro from finding love. Indeed, he married his husband Wil Tabares just last year. And now Danny hopes that by coming forward he can be a beacon of light for others struggling with HIV.

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