AceShowbiz - Danny Pintauro has taken a look back to the time when he first revealed his medical issue. The "Who's the Boss?" alum admitted moments after he unveiled his HIV-positive diagnosis were "terrifying."
Making an appearance in PEOPLE's video series "Stories of Positivity", the 45-year-old actor revealed how hard it was after he made his HIV status public. "It used to be hard to walk down the street without someone recognizing me, and that was initially because I was on 'Who's the Boss?'. Then it was, 'He was on 'Who's the Boss?' and he's gay.' Now, it was going to be, 'He was on 'Who's the Boss?', he's gay, and he's another one of those HIV-positive guys,' " he recalled.
"That was a little bit terrifying," Danny confessed. Though so, the Jonathan Bower depicter on the TV sitcom went on to claim that "it didn't really make [him] second guess it." On the reason why, he said, "Because I'm much happier as a person with no secrets."
Danny continued, "I'll tell you about my meth use. I'll tell you about being positive. I'll tell you about how hard it was to be gay. I'll tell you about any of it." He then shared how he felt after opening up, "It feels so good. It's so great to have that."
Danny, who contracted HIV through a sexual encounter in 2003, shared that it was hard to open up about his diagnosis. He said at that time, there was a stigma attached to HIV that it's a "gay" disease.
"Back then, it was still a very big deal to tell that to people," Danny remembered. "We were barely advancing in terms of medications and barely advancing in terms of our thought process on your future, and especially for these people in my life who had no context. It was very scary."
However, in 2015, Danny decided to share with the public that he is HIV-positive during an episode of Oprah Winfrey's show "Where Are They Now?". The actor claimed that he almost didn't go through with it. "That half-hour before the interview I was on the verge of vomit, tears, sweating. It was a moment," he said.
"[Oprah] said, 'Just take a deep breath. You'll be fine. It's just going to be really monumental,' " Danny remembered how Oprah calmed him down. "I don't think there's anyone else who I could have told and who would have treated it as importantly and as respectfully as she did."