In an interview with Entertainment
Weekly, Danny Roberts, who appeared on MTV's Real World: New
Orleans, revealed he's HIV-positive.
The 41-year-old Roberts was known for
his relationship with Paul Dill, a military officer. On the reality
show, which aired in 2000, Dill's face was blurred to protect his
identity. At the time, “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” (DADT) – the
military policy that prohibited openly gay troops – was in effect.
Roberts said that he received his HIV
diagnosis in 2011.
“The reason I want to share this
story is that I spent so long battling and beating myself up for my
own misconceptions and bigotry,” Roberts said. “It is difficult
to admit the negative feelings you had about a set of people and
state of being based on made-up stories.”
“My first reaction was shock. Then I
was angry, then lots of denial… Those early years were very
difficult and very lonely. You don’t know whom to turn to have
conversation and people don’t know what to say. It’s not
something that people have experience with. There’s also the
potential likelihood of massive judgments about what behaviors led to
this and what kind of people this happens to,” he added.
Roberts currently lives in New York
City and works as a digital design recruiter. He's also raising his
two-year-old adopted daughter.
“I had so many negative feelings I
was forced to face,” Roberts
said. “I've been on such a journey to overcome that. In a way,
this has really been like my second coming out.”