Danny Pintauro to be honored at 2016 Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards
Saturday, February 6 at Palm Springs Convention Center
PALM SPRINGS, CA, October 27, 2015 – Those who remember him as the fresh-faced Johnathan Bower who grew up in front of America on the hit 1980s TV sitcom “Who's the Boss?” might have been a bit surprised to hear what he had to say recently on “Oprah: Where Are They Now?” The former child star revealed that he has been living with HIV for the last 12 years.
In 1997, while still a college student, Pintauro came out as gay – when he was told by the National Enquirer that they planned to “out him” with or without his cooperation in the story. Judith Light, his former TV-mom, who received the Arts and Activism Award at the 2008 Steve Chase gala, advised him to participate with the paper, as a means of controlling the conversation. “Believe it or not, the National Enquirer did a really fantastic, heartwarming article about it,” Pintauro said. “I was shocked.”
The good news is that antiretroviral therapy (ART) medications have been around since 1996 and have dramatically increased the lifespan of those living with HIV and reducing their risk of transmitting the virus to others. That's one of the reasons that D.A.P. is leading 77 community partners in Get Tested Coachella Valley, to get all adolescents and adults in our area tested for HIV, so that they can get into care immediately, if HIV-positive. By its first 18 months of operation, Get Tested Coachella Valley Early Intervention Specialists had linked to care 89.9% of those testing positive – exceeding the California average of 54%, the U.S. average of 66%, and even the CDC's target of 80%! “The further good news is that those who get into care become 96% less infectious, vastly decreasing the possibility that they will pass their HIV to anyone else,” said David Brinkman, CEO of Desert AIDS Project.
The less-than-good news is that HIV stigma remains in many quarters of our society, here in the U.S. and worldwide. “We applaud Danny Pintauro for telling his story and for wanting, in his words, to become a ‘beacon of light' for others,” added Brinkman. “We hope that by honoring Danny's story with our Arts and Activism Award we can help him and so many others to come into the light without shame and to tell the world that they are a person living with a disease, that while infectious, can be dealt with as a chronic illness that doesn't have to be passed to others, and that we are sure will, one day soon, be cured.”
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"Reproduced with permission - Desert AIDS Project "
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