Former Who’s the Boss star Danny Pintauro has become an advocate for the HIV-positive community since revealing he’s been living with the virus for 12 years. He’s been using his newfound platform to educate people by addressing the type of questions they’re often afraid to ask.
In a new sit-down interview with Us Weekly, Pintauro was joined by his husband Wil Tabares for a frank discussion about how he contracted the virus.
“Believe it or not, with this guy I was actually safe. We did use condoms,” said Pintauro. “I got it another way, which was through oral sex.”
According to the CDC, “The risk of HIV transmission through oral sex is much less than that from anal or vaginal sex—but it is not zero.”
In his first interview with Oprah, Pintauro revealed he contracted HIV during a “terrifying” time in his life when he was addicted to crystal meth.
“I was extremely paranoid, I was the kind of guy who would do condom checks, you know, fill the condom with water afterwards to see if it leaked. I was that terrified, but drugs got involved,” he said.
With aggravating factors relating to his substance abuse, Pintauro said his risk for contracting HIV through oral sex was much higher. “When you put all of these nasty things together, like a compromised immune system, having been up for a long time, drugs, rough sex, all of that combined with lesions in your mouth, bodily fluids, it’s that easy,” he said.
@dannypintauro is a beacon of light. He is our advocate for HIV treatment as prevention. "I want my community to wake up, stop being complacent and start taking care of each other. We need to be the best we can – safe and healthy." #hivequal #testphotofight #knowyourstatus #fightthestigma #gettested #aids #iamhivequal #hiv #fightthestigma #testphotofight #knowyourstatus #dannypintauro #whostheboss
Though he’s lost touch with the man he said gave him the virus, Pintauro hasn’t stopped searching for him.
“I have searched. I searched the obituaries because I had a fear that I’d find him there, and I can’t find him. So we’re going to keep doing it,” he said. “Mostly I just want to find out if he’s okay. The lifestyle he was leading was really irresponsible and I just want to see if he survived.”
Check out the interview below.