On Oprah: Where Are They Now?, Danny Pintauro revealed he was HIV-positive and had struggled with crystal meth.
The former Who’s the Boss star continues his press tour today, visiting the View to talk about his journey and about the risks of using meth.
I spoke with Pintauro earlier this week, and asked the inevitable question, “why share this news now?”
He says the timing was somewhat unplanned—he had tried to appear on the Oprah show just as it was wrapping up its 25-year run in 2011.
“But her show was literally finishing in, like, five months,” Pintauro recalled.
He admits, though, he probably wasn’t ready to talk about his status then.
“I was using activism at the time to mask some of the stuff I was still going through.”
Pintauro, who live is Las Vegas and married husband Wil Tabares last year, said he finally got a call to do the appearance on Where Are They Now? , so he decided to take advantage of the opportunity to share his message of awareness.
He’s passionate about restarting that conversation, especially since infection rates are still high among gay and bisexual men.
“When people were talking about it [at the height of the AIDS crisis], people were dying. It was a big deal. it was a big news story,” he explains.
“Then people stopped dying. So people stopped talking about it—there was no story anymore. Now we’ve gotten to a place where the message has to come back—not because people are dying—but they’re still getting infected and they’re still doing drugs.”
Pintauro told Oprah he used meth for three years leading up to his HIV diagnosis. Now he wants more people to discuss its major impact on the gay community.
In fact, he calls it his job.
“The stigma surrounding [HIV and meth] is so severe still, even for the young kids. Nobody wants to take that step and have that conversation. That’s my job now.”
Check out the full red carpet interview with Danny Pintauro below here: