Appearing Wednesday on The Late with
Stephen Colbert, Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye's grooming
person, talked about their recent revelation that they're living with
In their memoir, Over the Top: A Raw
Journey to Self-Love, Van Ness revealed they're living with HIV.
Van Ness, 32, told The New York Times that they were diagnosed
as HIV-positive at age 25 after they fainted at a hair salon. They
explained that by coming forward they hope to break down the stigma
Van Ness said that they felt “very
embraced” by the responses they got to the news.
“I think the most meaningful thing
that has made me realize is the real lack of understanding that we
still have around what it is to live with HIV now, and also the lack
of [a] social safety net for HIV-positive people,” they said.
Van Ness added that HIV-positive people
continue to face stigma.
“There's no need. We know that with
antiretroviral therapy, people that achieve and maintain an
undetectable viral load effectively have no chance of transmitting
the virus sexually,” Van
“I realize, like, just the huge lack
of access that people have to information. And the huge lack of
support for people living with HIV in America. It is just so much
harder than it needs to be,” Van Ness said to applause.