Queer Eye star to 'take a break' after revealing HIV diagnosis
Jonathan Van Ness – one of the stars of hit US TV show Queer Eye – has told fans he is taking a short break from the spotlight, after revealing in his book he is HIV positive.
In a message on an Instagram story, he wrote: “Feeling so much love & support. Taking the next few days to rest up, spend time [with] my bittens (sic) & mom before the book tour gets going.
“I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work but I’m ready.
“Just want to say thank you all so much, especially my Queer Eye family and countless other friends and family for reaching out today.”
He added: “Not only to the people who I have known but everyone else who has showered me with grace.
“It truly means the world.”
His decision to take a break comes as he revealed in his upcoming book he was diagnosed with HIV at the age of 25.
In an extract of the autobiography, published in the New York Times, he said the diagnosis came after he had visited a family planning clinic following a collapse at work, which he thought was a result of flu.
The 32-year-old wrote: “That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be.”
In an interview with the same newspaper, he said he was a proud “member of the beautiful HIV positive community,” and felt compelled to speak out about it in an attempt to destigmatise the LGBT community in the US.
He becomes the second major figure in a week to reveal they are living with the virus, after former Wales rugby star Gareth Thomas revealed on Twitter he had been diagnosed with HIV.
In his memoirs, Van Ness also wrote about his experience of drug addiction, as well as being a survivor of sexual abuse.
He explained the topics he covered in his book were “all difficult subjects to talk about on a makeover show about hair and makeup”.
He added: “That doesn’t mean Queer Eye is less valid, but I want people to realise you’re never too broken to be fixed.”
Van Ness, who recently came out as non-binary, is best known for being the hair and beauty specialist on Netflix’s critically acclaimed Queer Eye reboot, which started in 2018.
The show follows a group of five gay men who aim to change the lives of others through personal and home makeovers, cookery classes and confidence-boosting sessions.
As well as TV he also hosts his own podcasts, one of which, Gay of Thrones, was nominated for an Emmy award earlier in the year.