Danny Pintauro, 'Who's The Boss' Star, Contracted HIV After Meth Use: Gay Activist Seeks To Raise Awareness

Danny Pintauro, known for his Who's the Boss? starring role, is now sharing that he is HIV-positive. Danny provided the revelation during a conversation with Oprah Winfrey, who was asking Pintauro about his past for her Oprah: Where Are They Now show, reported Entertainment Weekly.

For the past 12 years, Danny has been HIV-positive. But Pintauro, who also is known as Daniel, shared he was only ready to talk about it at this point in his life. And the former child actor described the health condition as serious.

"I'm HIV-positive, and I have been for 12 years. It's just a big deal. It's not something people are talking about right now, really."
As to how Danny contracted HIV, Pintauro had broken up and then turned to crystal meth because he thought it would help him break through his sexual boundaries, he explained to Oprah.

"You feel incredibly heightened when it comes to your sexuality," said Danny.

Pintauro thought he was safe in experimenting, but now he reflects that he knows when he contracted the disease.

Actor Danny Pintauro is ready to reveal his HIV-positive diagnosis.
Actor Danny Pintauro is ready to reveal his HIV-positive diagnosis.

"I was experimenting... I thought that I was being safe," added Danny.

Pintauro initially feared that he would never be involved in a meaningful relationship after he learned that he was HIV-positive. Describing how he felt, Danny admitted that he thought no one would desire to be with him, and Pintauro also shared that he instantly revealed his diagnosis immediately prior to even kissing his now-husband on their first date.

"The first thing he said was, 'I'm not scared of it at all,' " recalled Danny.

Pintauro tied the knot with Will Tabares in 2014.

But Danny admitted that even before he knew was HIV-positive, he had been scared that he would contract the disease. Pintauro described himself as "terrified," and then experiencing a sense of relief that he had the diagnosis in that the fear of getting it was gone.

Actor Danny Pintauro reveals his fear of contracting HIV prior to receiving the diagnosis.
Actor Danny Pintauro reveals his fear of contracting HIV prior to receiving the diagnosis.

When Danny first revealed that he was gay in the late 1990s, the revelation followed a threat from a tabloid that it would break the news. Pintauro, therefore, made the decision to be candid.

"When I first came out, which was before everybody – Ellen [DeGeneres] and I came out the same year; Rosie [O'Donnell] came out four years after I did – I missed the opportunity to be a beacon of light for gay kids," said Danny.

Pintauro said that he now recognizes those gay young people were experiencing the same feelings and challenges that he was feeling.

"[They] were going through what I was going through."
Danny now wants to be an activist. Pintauro has serious goals and intentions, he said, and he wants to start a door-to-door campaign to make a difference with both issues.

As to why Danny is choosing to speak out now, Pintauro emphasized that he feels it's time to raise awareness of what it means to be HIV-positive, reported People.

By talking about what happened when he combined crystal meth and sex, Danny hopes he can kick-start a campaign that informs others in the gay community about the dangers of what he describes as partying. Pintauro urges others to be safe, and thus remain healthy, because he fears that HIV will become an epidemic.

"I am speaking out because I want everyone who continues to 'tweak' and party to know that it is not worth the price," emphasized Danny. "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."

[Photo by Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images; Photo by Amanda Edwards / Getty Images]