Billy Porter Reveals He Is HIV-Positive

Published: Wednesday 19th May 2021 by Sam

Billy Porter is bravely sharing his truth. For, in a new interview, he revealed that he is HIV-positive.

Full story below…

In the candid feature with The Hollywood Reporter, the Emmy-winning ‘Pose’ actor lifts the lid on a 14-year-old diagnosis he kept from family, friends, and colleagues.

Speaking candidly, he described 2007 as his “valley period.” A year in which he was diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, filed for bankruptcy and discovered he was HIV-positive.

An excerpt from his sit-down read:

“I was the generation that was supposed to know better, and it happened anyway. 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 shame of that time compounded with the shame that had already [accumulated] in my life silenced me, and I have lived with that shame in silence for 14 years. HIV-positive, where I come from, growing up in the Pentecostal church with a very religious family, is God’s punishment.”

Describing how he found out about his status, the 51-year-on shared:

“It was a fluke. I had a pimple on my butt, and it got larger and larger and harder and harder, and then it started to hurt. One day I was like, “I’ve got to get this taken care of,” so I went to the Callen-Lorde clinic and the queen at the front desk was like, “You want an HIV test? They only $10.” I said, “Yeah, yeah, it’s time.” I got tested every six months, like you were supposed to. So I went in, got the pimple drained and got tested, and then the doctor came back and looked at me. I was like, “What?” He sat down, and I was like, “No. Nooo.” And he said, “Your test came back positive.””

On His Rationale For Speaking Up:

“For a long time, everybody who needed to know, knew — except for my mother. I was trying to have a life and a career, and I wasn’t certain I could if the wrong people knew. It would just be another way for people to discriminate against me in an already discriminatory profession. So I tried to think about it as little as I could. I tried to block it out. But quarantine has taught me a lot. Everybody was required to sit down and shut the f*ck up.”

On Playing HIV-Positive Character Pray Tell On ‘Pose’:

“Then came Pose. An opportunity to work through the shame [of HIV] and where I have gotten to in this moment. And the brilliance of Pray Tell and this opportunity was that I was able to say everything that I wanted to say through a surrogate”

On Finally Telling His Mom:

“My mother had been through so much already, so much persecution by her religious community because of my queerness, that I just didn’t want her to have to live through their “I told you so’s.” I didn’t want to put her through that. I was embarrassed. I was ashamed. I was the statistic that everybody said I would be. So I’d made a pact with myself that I would let her die before I told her. That’s what I was waiting for, if I’m being honest. When we moved her into the Actors Fund Nursing Home, I was like, “She’s not going to be here long, and then I’ll write my book and come out and she won’t have to live with the embarrassment of having an HIV-positive child.” That was five years ago. She ain’t going anywhere.

I was writing in my gratitude journal and my mama popped into my head. I was like, “Let me just call her.” Not two minutes into the conversation, she’s like, “What’s wrong?” I said, “Nothing.” She’s like, “Son, please tell me what’s wrong.” So I ripped the Band-Aid off and I told her. She said, “You’ve been carrying this around for 14 years? Don’t ever do this again. I’m your mother, I love you no matter what.”

On His Outlook Now:

“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.

I survived so that I could tell the story. That’s what I’m here for. I’m the vessel.”


We applaud his bravery and know that it’ll help so many on their journeys.

Your thoughts?

[Photo Credit: THR / Lia Clay Miller⁠]

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  1. Clarks0o00ñ May 19, 2021

    I read the entire interview and I want yall to do the same.

    Billy u are so brave.
    Thank u for sharing your story

    I cant wait to see u and Camila cabello in the upcoming Cinderella movie.

    • UHoesFunny May 19, 2021

      Gurl the only reason u care because you need Billy’s fan base in order to keep Camicky’s network premiere from flopping. Good night

  2. Moose’s Wig May 19, 2021


  3. Diabetes UNBOTHERED May 19, 2021

    God invented H** exclusively for Trannys like Billy Porter and Magic Johnson and his “son”. Hopefully he catches C**** Next.

    • NotAgain May 19, 2021

      Diabetes UNBOTHERED yo, your life must be really sad. Like, who hurt you? What makes you feel the need to hide behind the avatar of a random over weight black women; just to spew negativity on a daily basis? Do you really think this is cute?

      None of this is normal. I can only imagine the level of trauma you must have endured as a child. You must be lonely too! 😔 it’s okay, things will get better! But you have to stop with the trolling, it’ll never get you anywhere IRL. Let me advise you of a little secret; the more negativity you emit, the worst your life will be.

      Get help! You should seriously consider seeing a therapist, all jokes aside.

      • Lanette Graham May 19, 2021

        Woowwww I truly admire your honesty boldness and humble mind to reveal something so hard and just u know well anyways I want to thnkyou for sharing it blessed me and just shows that there are a lot of people who struggle with opening up and living their truth you are an inspiration thnk you soo very much don’t let anyone tell you different there are gonna be hatter all over tyna down play u so smile and wave

    • Kristina Osobka May 19, 2021

      You are simply a horrible human being to wish Cancer on another human being. What a sad and pathetic person you are to sit there and pass judgement on anyone. I guarantee you that Billy Porter has done more to better our world in 5 minutes than you have done in your entire miserable life. And God… invented HELL for close minded, bigoted closet cases who feel it necessary to use your RELIGION as an excuse to be HATEFUL. I hope you get help for your BIGOTRY problem. It must be exhausting being so HATEFUL .

    • Fancy BISH (FCK Maristench, Danzou The Fool & Clarksdump 🤣) 👊🏽💎💋 May 19, 2021

      I can’t beleive that I agree with Diabetes UNBOTHERED!

  4. Jeans May 19, 2021

    I appreciate his bravery! Forreal!

  5. Keith May 19, 2021

    It all makes sense now. Thank you, Billy, for being forthcoming. Just as others did so you can be here, there is someone out there who will read/see this at just the right time…

  6. J May 19, 2021

    Glad that he’s happier and healthier now

    SN who else is wearing a dress for their cover? Look what Jaden and them started 😬😬😬

  7. J May 19, 2021

    Thëre Iz 1 Ñ Ev’ry Fãmily…
    && 3Y3 Luv Hìm..

  8. True Tea May 19, 2021

    I hate to say this but Billy Porter is the text book stereotypical gay male. Him being H** positive surely doesn’t help the LGBTQ Community. Sadly in this day & age, people still view H** as a gay disease. I’m praying for Billy Porter none the less. No one deserves H**.

  9. True Tea May 19, 2021

    So H/I/V can be printed in the headline but not the comment section?


  10. Bravo!! May 19, 2021

    Already knew that!

  11. Jerrie Nelson May 19, 2021

    I love you, Billy Porter. People should b able to do whatever they like. People judge you, degrade, disrespect and all the other negative things they will do n say. I love what you do!!!!! You go, go. Jealousy can play a part also, some haters would give anything to be YOU!!

  12. Lanette Graham May 19, 2021

    Woowwww I truly admire your honesty boldness and humble mind to reveal something so hard and just u know well anyways I want to thnkyou for sharing it blessed me and just shows that there are a lot of people who struggle with opening up and living their truth you are an inspiration thnk you soo very much don’t let anyone tell you different there are gonna be hatter all over tyna down play u so smile and wave

  13. Wanda Prevost May 19, 2021

    I applaud you Billy Porter for using your platform to show and tell your testimony through the show “Pose.” By the way I love that show!! (And I’m a straight female). I want to just say we all have a purpose in life and yours is to be transparent about your sexuality and to let others know that God loves you for you. He made you uniquely and perfectly in his image and God doesn’t make any mistakes. God has blessed you do you can bless others and you have blessed so many people with with your beautiful spirit and heart. H** is a disease and you are handling it gracefully. Keep doing what you’re doing and God bless you. Love you.

  14. Shannon May 25, 2021

    Does anybody truly care? I literally know an entire commuity of H** positive men who arent attention hungry like this fool.

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