Jonathan Van Ness came out as a member of the “beautiful HIV-positive community”

Earlier this month, Queer Eye‘s Jonathan Van Ness sat down with The New York Times ahead of the release of his memoir, Over the Top, which hits shelves tomorrow, September 24th. During his conversation with the Times, Van Ness came out as being a member of “the beautiful HIV-positive community,” and fans and followers are sending him so much love.

Van Ness was diagnosed with HIV about seven years ago, when the then-assistant hairstylist was just 25 years old. At the time, Van Ness says he was battling severe addiction problems, which he had struggled with since starting college at the University of Arizona.

While at work at the hair salon one afternoon, Van Ness says he fainted mid-highlight session after experiencing flu-like symptoms. He went to Planned Parenthood, where he tested positive for HIV.

“That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be,” he writes in his memoir, according to the Times.

Van Ness hopes that talking about his diagnosis in his memoir will help reshape public perception about HIV-positive people. As the Times reports, the celebrity hairstylist is healthy and describes himself as an “out-and-proud member” of the “beautiful” HIV-positive community.

"The first article about the book came out today from the @nytimes & I’m relieved I can speak fully about the things that shape my experience in life," Van Ness wrote in the caption of a September 21st Instagram post. "The book speaks to some extremely difficult times but it’s also filled with my humor, joy and voice & I can’t wait to share it with you fully."

By coming out as HIV-positive, as well as describing his experiences with addiction and sexual abuse, Van Ness is inspiring and normalizing conversations surrounding these topics, often considered taboo. And his fans are here for it.

We can’t wait to dive into the pages of Over the Top. Order online or check out your local bookstore tomorrow, September 24th, to get to know Van Ness for more than just his Queer Eye persona.

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