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'Pose' Star Billy Porter Reveals He's HIV Positive After Hiding It For 14 Years

billy porter hiv positive pose
Source: MEGA

May. 19 2021, Published 10:06 a.m. ET

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Actor Billy Porter is revealing he's been living with HIV for the past 14 years. 

The Pose star revealed his truth while speaking to The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the final season premiere for the hit FX show. 

In the interview, Porter broke his silence telling the outlet, "this Is what HIV-positive looks like now."  

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He said for the past decade he felt the need to hide his diagnosis but he is ready to be free from the shame he felt. The fiery actor described how his decision to open up about it has freed him.

billy porter hiv positive pose
Source: MEGA
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"The truth is the healing," he said. 

His character on the Ryan Murphy show is HIV positive. Porter believes he used his character as his proxy. 

“I was able to say everything that I wanted to say through a surrogate,” he revealed. 

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billy porter hiv positive pose

"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," Porter explained his decision to come out about it. 

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In 2007, he says he was having the worst year of his life. He faced being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, filed for bankruptcy and found out he was HIV-positive. 

He explains the pandemic made his look deep inside himself to explain his trauma. Porter said, "But in the last year, I started real trauma therapy to begin the process of healing. I started peeling back all these layers: having been sent to a psychologist at age 5 because I came out of the womb a big old queen; being sexually abused by my stepfather from the time I was 7 to the time I was 12; coming out at 16 in the middle of the AIDS crisis." 

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billy porter hiv positive pose
Source: MEGA

The actor said he isn't letting being HIV positive get him down. He said, "This is what HIV-positive looks like now. I’m going to die from something else before I die from that. My T-cell levels are twice yours because of this medication. I go to the doctor now — as a Black, 51-year-old man, I go to the doctor every three months."

"That doesn’t happen in my community. We don’t trust doctors. But I go to the doctor, and I know what’s going on in my body. I’m the healthiest I’ve been in my entire life," he added. 

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