Former Who’s The Boss star Danny Pintauro made headlines last week when he sat down with Oprah to talk about his addiction to crystal meth and being HIV positive for 12 years. Now, in an interview with Us Weekly, he’s explains how he believes he contracted the virus.
“Believe it or not, with this guy I was actually safe,” Pintauro tells the publication. “We did use condoms. I got it another way, which was through oral sex.”
He continued: “When you put all of these nasty things together, like a compromised immune system, having been up for a long time, drugs, rough sex, all of that combined with lesions in your mouth, bodily fluids, it’s that easy.”
Many remain skeptical of oral HIV transmission, and there have been very few documented cases. However, according to the CDC‘s website, it is possible: “the risk of HIV transmission through oral sex is much less than that from anal or vaginal sex—but it is not zero.”
According to SFAF.org, “HIV still can enter through open cuts and sores, or possibly by infecting the lining of the mouth. … Once the semen gets past the mouth, stomach acid and enzymes in the esophagus kill the virus.”
Pintauro went on to say that he’s been unable to locate the man he believes be contracted the virus from, though he has been trying for many years.
“I have searched. I searched the obituaries because I had a fear that I’d find him there, and I can’t find him. So we’re going to keep doing it,” Pintauro says as Tabares nods. “Mostly I just want to find out if he’s okay. The lifestyle he was leading was really irresponsible and I just want to see if he survived.”
The 39-year-old actor-turned activist has embarked on what’s referred to as the “Beacon of Light” tour, during which he will go from event-to-event across the country to spread awareness of the virus and the dark spiral of crystal meth use. In addition to his magazine interviews and talk show appearances, Pintauro met with the team of U.S.-based non-profit organization World Health Clinicians for a conversation and posed for their anti-stigma social media campaign, HIV Equal.