As part of a "trip," resembling a "second exit," Danny Roberts is opening up about his HIV diagnosis for the first time.
The star of "The Real World: New Orleans," which is openly gay, told Entertainment Weekly in an interview published on Tuesday that he has been living with HIV since 2011.
"The reason I want to share this story is that I spent so much time fighting and overcoming my own misconceptions and fanaticism," he said. "It's hard to admit the negative feelings I had about a group of people and the state of being based on invented stories."
Now, 41, the Georgia native now lives in New York, where he works as a digital design recruiter and has a 2-year-old daughter, Naiya Sage. He told EW that he experienced a shock, followed by a period of denial, after his doctor told him he was HIV positive.
"Those first years were very difficult and very lonely. You do not know where to turn to talk and people do not know what to say. It is not something that people have experience with, "he recalled." There is also the potential for massive judgments about what behaviors led to this and what kind of people this happens to. "
"The last thing I want is pity," he said.
Roberts rose to fame in 2000 as one of seven strangers chosen to have their daily lives documented for the ninth season of MTV's "The Real World." At that time, he was dating Paul Dill, a captain of the US Army. UU He had to be hidden from the camera because of the "Do not ask, do not tell" policy of the army repealed since then, which prohibits gay, lesbian and bisexual Americans from openly serving in the military.
In his EW interview, Roberts specified that he was "undetectable," which means he controlled the virus after undergoing antiretroviral therapy and, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, can not transmit it to an affected partner.
Comparing the fact of living with HIV with "having a shabby old cell phone with a great application devouring your energy", he thanked his co-star of "Real World: New Orleans", Kelley Limp, for helping him overcome his emotions . "She's the sister of my life," she said of Limp, who is married to the "Party of Five" and "Everwood" star Scott Wolf. "She was one of the first people I went to and spoke with."
His only goal to move forward now, he said, is to rekindle the discussion about the virus.
"I had so many negative feelings that I was forced to face," he said.
Last month, MTV announced plans for a "re-imagined" version of "The Real World," to debut on Facebook Watch next year.