‘Pose’ star Billy Porter shares he is living with HIV

Actor Billy Porter has shared that he is living with HIV, having been diagnosed with the condition 14 years ago.

In a cover interview for The Hollywood Reporter, Porter shares that since being diagnosed he had told very few people fearing the stigma and discrimination that so many people living with the virus face.

Playing Pray Tell, his character on the popular TV show Pose has allowed Porter to be more open about his own status, but he reveals that not even the writers and producers were aware that he was drawing on his own experiences for his award winning performances.

Porter shares that he discovered he had contracted HIV during a routine doctor’s check-up and it came at a low point in life.

“I was the generation that was supposed to know better, and it happened anyway.” Porter shares.  “It was 2007, the worst year of my life. I was on the precipice of obscurity for about a decade or so, but 2007 was the worst of it. By February, I had been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. By March, I signed bankruptcy papers. And by June, I was diagnosed HIV-positive.”

The actor reveals that it has taken him many years to be build his confidence, persevere with his career and get to a point where he could let close family members now about his status. Now he’s ready to share his experiences with everybody.

“Having lived through the plague, my question was always, ‘Why was I spared? Why am I living?'” Porter says in the interview.

“Well, I’m living so that I can tell the story. There’s a whole generation that was here, and I stand on their shoulders. I can be who I am in this space, at this time, because of the legacy that they left for me. So it’s time to put my big boy pants on and talk.”

Read his powerful story at The Hollywood Reporter.

OIP Staff


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