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“Project Runway” Designer Explains Why He Came Out Publicly As HIV-Positive

project-runway-all-stars-lifetime-viktor-luna-hiv-positiveTo my Friends, Family and Fans:

I’d like to thank you all for the continued support and concern over my health.

When I was approached to be on this current season of Project Runway: All Stars, I decided that this time, I wanted to be seen for who I truly am. For those who remember me during Project Runway, Season 9, I was very protective of my feelings and how I was portrayed on camera. Many thought I was just quiet, but in truth, I was just hiding from the world. This season, I wanted to let it all out and be myself. You’ve seen me laugh, cry and openly share my feelings, but I haven’t shared everything — until now. To complete this process with myself, and to truly feel free, I chose to reveal my HIV status. In doing this, I have come to accept the virus inside me, and I now know this little thing isn’t going to stop me anymore.

I discovered that I was HIV positive about seven years ago, and so many feelings surfaced: terror, devastation, embarrassment, loneliness and shame. I woke up every morning crying and feared that death was right around the corner. It took me about three years to finally come to terms with what I was living with. I decided to go out and audition for Project Runway to prove that this won’t stop me from accomplishing my dreams.

Today, HIV is completely different than its initial introduction into the world. Modern medicine is continually changing HIV into a virus that people live with, not die from. I find great comfort in the support and resources provided to people living with HIV and AIDS today. In retrospect, I realized the stigma of AIDS was making me feel worthless. Still, as far as we’ve come, there are still many people living with the HIV virus and AIDS, and there is still no known cure. The virus does not care if you are straight, gay, what skin color you are, or even if you are the sweetest person alive  — everyone who is sexually active is at risk, and it should not be classified as a “gay epidemic.”

As a public figure, and as an All Star, it was my duty to be one of the many people to show that you are not alone, and you can still follow your dreams. I’ve shared my status with my family and my partner, all who embraced me with love and open arms. It was like lifting a huge boulder off my shoulder, and I finally feel completely proud of the person I am. With this responsibility, I hope I can create an impact and open awareness to you, and to everyone else.

Remember, we are all one, and only as one can we truly make a difference.”

 

Fashion designer and Project Runway: All Stars contestant Viktor Luna in an open letter explaining his decision to reveal his HIV status on camera

H/t: HuffPo

By:           EDITORS
On:           Dec 13, 2013
Tagged: ,

  • 31 Comments
    • davegun2
      davegun2

      Thank you. That’s all I can say. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. The silence and stigma need to end in our community.

      Dec 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      But isn’t Viktor Luna promoting the idea that AIDS is a gay illness? That’s the impression I got. He seems to be contradicting himself.

      Look, I’m glad that he’s healthy in an overall sense and I hope he continues to be thus. He’s further proof that HIV-pos people can still lead a long and fulfilling life. I mean, look at Magic Johnson.

      The idea that HIV is an automatic killer is pure nonsense that is put out by the AIDS industry and gay groups who love to be thought of as victims. I’m sorry but HIV is NOT a random virus.

      You mostly get HIV because you chose to put yourself in harm’s way. Don’t deny it.

      Dec 13, 2013 at 9:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • djsooshi
      djsooshi

      Jimbryant. You are an ignorant dbag. You have no idea what you are talking about. I do as a healthcare worker and lived through the 80s, something makes me think you are talking from your own experience from having HIV yourself and have some regrets.

      Dec 13, 2013 at 10:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tyler100
      Tyler100

      @jimbryant:

      Speaking of victims, we’re all victims of JimBryant’s blatant lies and homophobia. His ignorance and willingness to say whatever he needs to in order to make an impression on us is pretty sad. So I guess he’s also a victim: a victim of himself and his mental illness.

      Dec 13, 2013 at 10:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      dhsooshi,

      I have no sympathy for people who engaged in STD-attracting promiscuity in the early 80′s. Play your pity card elsewhere.

      The amount of concentrated promiscuity within the male-male social scene is appalling. I have no sympathy for those who know what they are doing and yet go ahead and do it anyway.

      However, I do admire the fact that Viktor Luna is healthy in an overall sense and is optimistic about himself. He will live a normal life.

      Dec 13, 2013 at 10:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • boring
      boring

      Not to be overly crass, but when you read “Project Runaway Designer,” don’t you, well, kind of connect Point A to Point HIV?

      Dec 13, 2013 at 11:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Deepdow
      Deepdow

      @jimbryant:

      But you’re implying that every person with HIV/AIDS, be he/she gay or straight, acquired it from having a promiscuous sex life – and that is not true.

      Again your overt generalization betray your misanthropy.

      Grow up.

      Dec 13, 2013 at 11:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tyler100
      Tyler100

      @jimbryant:

      You certainly don’t have to worry about promiscuity, Jim/Rick. I highly doubt you ever get laid, what with your less-than-winning personality and horrible, narrow-minded view of the world. Of course, you might pay for it. I’d believe that.

      Dec 13, 2013 at 11:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      Deepdow,

      The exception does not disprove the rule.

      Dec 14, 2013 at 12:13 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tyler100
      Tyler100

      @jimbryant:

      And your belief does not equal fact. Such a narrow perspective could never yield truth.

      Dec 14, 2013 at 12:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      Tyler,

      Belief based on fact is better than belief based on opinon. Wink, wink.

      Dec 14, 2013 at 1:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Deepdow
      Deepdow

      @jimbryant:

      You Dickbomb. Everything you’ve just said is inane. Actually, belief is predicated on faith, which hath not require fact, but an *informed* opinion trumps the petty beliefs of the misanthrope in any day and age.

      Your breath stinks.

      Dec 14, 2013 at 2:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Deepdow
      Deepdow

      *doth

      you dolt.

      Dec 14, 2013 at 3:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tyler100
      Tyler100

      @jimbryant:

      I would comment further but it seems you’ve begun to flag my comments. Awww, is it getting too hot in the kitchen for you? I guess you don’t like it when your negativity is thrust back into your face, eh?

      Dec 14, 2013 at 3:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AuntieChrist
      AuntieChrist

      I knew that Anita Bryants bastard child would have to weigh in with it’s own brand of cray cray…Back on topic…I applaud Mr. Luna’s bravery not only about his honesty but also the decision to wear that hat… The jacket has too many buttons and the blocking is all wrong.

      Dec 14, 2013 at 7:40 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      @jimbryant: Your “monogamous” boyfriend is a slut who is fucking around without condoms.

      And that’s not easy for him considering that he’s inflatable!

      Dec 14, 2013 at 8:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Carmen L. Ashmore
      Carmen L. Ashmore

      Ellen responded I am in shock that a stay at home mom can get paid $4859 in four weeks on the computer. read this post here>>>. http://bit.do/fjmi

      Dec 14, 2013 at 8:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • myloginname
      myloginname

      Viktor thanks for having the courage to put out there what you have been through. It’s heroic to share your struggles and helps so many. Thank you.

      Dec 14, 2013 at 8:52 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • glynhvv730
      glynhvv730

      like Alice replied I am impressed that someone able to earn $8546 in four weeks on the computer. read the article ……. http://tiny.cc/mrv37w

      Dec 14, 2013 at 6:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Rockery
      Rockery

      Good for him, I watched that season and did not like his personality though, maybe he was going through some of those issues

      What is up with this font?

      Dec 14, 2013 at 7:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      Assuming that someone is promiscuous or ‘bad’ because they got sick is stupid. But so is assuming that someone who is positive is a hero just for managing to catch a virus… what we saw on the show was a very unlikable person, with his stolen fan affectation and all.

      Dec 14, 2013 at 11:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jckfmsincty
      jckfmsincty

      I don’t particularly like Victor. On a recent episode, he was quite nasty to his fellow, gay designer, Christopher. Victor said that only his partner knew of his HIV status. What was the motivation to otherwise announce this on a television, reality show?

      Dec 14, 2013 at 11:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Deepdow
      Deepdow

      @the other Greg:

      Hehe

      Dec 15, 2013 at 3:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      Fitz,

      Promiscuity does lead to STD’s. Don’t deny it. It is one important component. The other important component is anonymous sex – ie sex with a person whom you know nothing about.

      Another important component is concentration. The concentrated promiscuity of the male-male social scene enables things to spread faster than if it were a dispersed promiscuity.

      Dispersed promiscuity can lead to STD’s but it does not cause the exponential rise in STD’s that is associated with concentrated promiscuity.

      Dec 15, 2013 at 5:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Fitz
      Fitz

      Actually, it’s quit amazing.. but apparently AIDS is caused by a virus.

      Dec 15, 2013 at 8:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jimbryant
      jimbryant

      Fitz,

      It’s not a random virus. It reqires an invitation.

      Dec 15, 2013 at 9:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AuntieChrist
      AuntieChrist

      @jimbryant: You said…It’s not a random virus. It reqires an invitation…Which unlike you requires nothing but half a brain cell…Too bad there is no tech that allows a good sound throttling from where I am sitting.

      Dec 16, 2013 at 4:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AuntieChrist
      AuntieChrist

      A drone,A drone, my kingdom for a drone.

      Dec 16, 2013 at 4:05 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Stache1
      Stache1

      @AuntieChrist: Ha. That made me think of this seen. What I think most want to do with jimbryant…;)

      Dec 16, 2013 at 3:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • tumtum333
      tumtum333

      I think it’s great that Viktor wants to be a positive role model for HIV+ people around the world. It’s a ridiculous stigma that needs to stop and isn’t just an LGBT related issue. We need more public figures to step up and speak out and will for some time.

      HOWEVER, I think that all reality television, including Project Runway, manipulate personal struggles/drama for ratings. In terms of timing, there was absolutely no legitimate reason for Viktor to talk about his HIV status on the show. Perhaps there was something going on in his personal life, but from my perspective it seemed like Project Runway was just trying to have a dramatic moment. The way it was portrayed was very awkward in terms of timing and context. To me, it would’ve been more powerful if he thought about a deeper and more meaningful way to talk about his status instead of a seemingly contrived scene on a reality TV show.

      Bottom line: his intentions are great, but I feel that the delivery played right into Project Runway’s usual melodramatic, seemingly scripted segments, which detracts from his overarching goal.

      Dec 16, 2013 at 5:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mariakatrina
      mariakatrina

      Hi, I work in a communication company I want to share my testimony to
      the world, my name is maria Katrina, i am from united kingdom in
      Belfast north Ireland, I was a stripper in a club I got effected with
      HIV due to the nature of my job, In April 15 2013 i was tested
      positive to HIV, This is not design to convince you but its just a
      personal health experience . I never taught doctor Hakim could ever
      get my HIV-AIDS cured with his healing herb spell, i have tried almost
      everything but I couldn’t find any solution on my disease, despite all
      these happening to me, i always spend a lot to buy a HIV drugs from
      hospital and taking some several medications but no relieve, until one
      day i was just browsing on the internet when i came across a great
      post of !Michelle! who truly said that she was been diagnose with HIV
      and was healed that very week through the help of this great powerful
      healing spell doctor ,I wonder why he is called the great papa Hakim,
      i never knew it was all because of the great and perfect work that he
      has been doing that is causing all this. so I quickly contacted him,
      and he ask me some few questions and so i did all the things he asked
      me to do,He ask me to buy some herbs and which I did for my cure,only
      to see that at the very day which he said i will be healed, all the
      strength that has left me before rush back and i becomes very strong
      and healthy, this disease almost kills my life all because of me, so i
      went to hospital to give the final test to the disease and the doctor
      said i am HIV negative, i am very amazed and happy about the healing
      doctor Hakim gave to me from the ancient part of Africa, you can email
      him now for your own healing too on his email:
      dr.hakimherbalspellworld@gmail.com

      Jan 7, 2014 at 9:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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