Former child star Danny Pintauro, who came out as gay in 1997, said over the weekend that he is HIV positive and plans to become a safe-sex activist.
"I'm HIV positive, and I have been for 12 years," Pintauro, 39, told Oprah Winfrey Saturday on "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" "It's not something that people are talking about right now, really. When I first came out . . . I missed the opportunity," he lamented, "to be a beacon of light for gay kids who were going through what I was going through."
Shortly before the interview aired, he posted an Instagram photo of himself and husband Wil Tabares, whom he married in April 2014, captioned, "Last meal as a nobody. ;) first meal as an activist."
Pintauro, who played Jonathan Bower on the 1984 to 1992 ABC sitcom "Who's the Boss?," told Winfrey he was diagnosed in March 2003 while living in New York. "I went in for a regular checkup. You know, as a responsible gay man, you're getting an HIV test done every six months."
When he learned he had tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus, which can lead to AIDS, he felt, he said, "a weird combination of feelings. 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 to have that conversation every time I meet someone. Who's going to want to love me?' "
He added happily that on his first date with his husband-to-be, "It was the first thing I told him. And the first thing he said was, 'I'm not scared of it at all.' "