Celebrities Living With HIV
- Bringing HIV into the SpotlightWhen Rock Hudson revealed his AIDS diagnosis in 1985, he stunned the world as the first major celebrity to put a famous face on the disease. Since then, several other public figures have brought HIV/AIDS into the spotlight by talking openly about their condition. Jonathan Van Ness and six other HIV-positive stars show how far treatments have come, and prove it’s possible to live a full, active life with HIV.
- Greg LouganisLegendary American diver Greg Louganis won five Olympic medals, and today he remains the only male to win gold in both diving events in back-to-back Olympic Games (1984 and 1988). He had been diagnosed with HIV only months before he hit his head on the diving board during the 1988 Games, but he kept his condition secret until a 1995 interview with Oprah Winfrey. Today, Louganis mentors the U.S. Olympic diving team and travels as a motivational speaker.
- Magic JohnsonEarvin “Magic” Johnson dominated basketball as one of the game’s best players throughout the 1980s, leading the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships during his career. In 1991, Johnson announced he had HIV and retired from the Lakers, launching the Magic Johnson Foundation that same year to raise money and awareness for AIDS research. He has since had a thriving career as a businessman, investor and author.
- Daniel PintauroAny child of the ‘80s remembers Danny Pintauro as the angel-faced child star of “Who’s the Boss?” But in the early 2000s, Pintauro fell victim to the demons of drug abuse, and he says it was during that time he contracted HIV during a sexual encounter. Pintauro married his husband, Will, in 2014. After revealing his HIV-positive status in a 2015 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Pintauro now seeks to work as an activist for HIV/AIDS awareness.
- Jerry HermanFor decades, Broadway fans have been singing along to the songs of two-time Tony winner Jerry Herman, who wrote the music and lyrics for classic shows like “Mame,” “La Cage aux Folles,” and “Hello, Dolly!” Herman was diagnosed with HIV in 1985, making him one of the earliest recipients of more effective HIV therapies. Herman was a 2010 Kennedy Center Honoree and lives in Miami Beach, Florida.
- Chuck PanozzoBorn and raised on the south side of Chicago, Chuck Panozzo became famous as the bass player for the rock band Styx. Panozzo says it took him years to come to terms with his homosexuality before announcing he was gay and HIV positive at a Chicago Human Rights Campaign dinner in 2001. Panozzo released his autobiography in 2007 and still tours with Styx part time.
- Charlie SheenOne of the more unpredictable stars of the last few years, Charlie Sheen is known most recently for his role on the CBS sitcom “Two and a Half Men.” He rose to fame in the 1980s in films including “Platoon,” “Wall Street,” and “Major League.” After his infamous public meltdown in 2011, Sheen returned to television briefly on the FX series “Anger Management.” He announced in a November 2015 interview with Matt Lauer on the “Today” show that he was diagnosed with HIV in 2011 and hopes that by going public, he can help erase the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.
- Jonathan Van NessKnown for his role as the grooming expert on the Netflix reboot of “Queer Eye,” Jonathan Van Ness has won over fans with this exuberant optimism and boisterous sense of humor. But in his 2019 memoir “Over the Top,” Van Ness opened up about drug and sex addiction in his past, and revealed he tested positive for HIV at age 25. Today Van Ness says he wants to break misconceptions about living with HIV and calls himself a proud “member of the beautiful HIV-positive community.”
Celebrities Living With HIV