Daniel Pintauro is hoping his brave admission will one day help others.
Pintauro, who grew up in the spotlight as Jonathan Bower on the ‘80s sitcom Who's the Boss?, sat down with Oprah Winfrey to let go of a secret he's been harboring for 12 years.
"I wanted to tell you this a long time ago, but I wasn't ready—I'm ready now, that I'm HIV positive, and I have been for 12 years," Pintauro told her on Oprah: Where Are They Now. "It's just a big deal. It's not something that people are talking about right now."
Pintauro wants to do his part to change that and hopes to become an activist for the LGBT community, saying he "missed the opportunity to be a beacon of light for gay kids who were going through what I was going through because I was outed."
The 39-year-old told Oprah that he was open with his diagnosis with his now-husband, Wil Tabares, when they first met in 2012.
"It was our first date and we hadn't even kissed and it was the first thing I told him. The first thing he said was ‘I'm not scared of it at all,'" Pintauro said.
For the former child star, that was not his first reaction.
"There's this awful feeling of, ‘I'm never going to be able to have a good relationship. No one's ever going to want me,'" he said. "[But] there was a sense of relief. It's backwards. You've spent so much time terrified that you're going to get it, and then you have it. You don't have to be terrified anymore."