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“Real World: New Orleans” star Danny Roberts has revealed he is HIV-positive.
Roberts, a native of Georgia, was one of the seven strangers picked to live in a house in New Orleans for the MTV series which aired in 2000. He was known for his relationship with a military officer named Paul Dill. During the season’s airing, MTV blurred Dill’s face to protect his identity as part of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Roberts opens up about his HIV diagnosis in 2011.
“The reason I want to share this story is that I spent so long battling and beating myself up for my own misconceptions and bigotry,” Roberts says. “It is difficult to admit the negative feelings you had about a set of people and state of being based on made-up stories.”
After waking up in a pool of blood one day, Roberts contacted his doctor who gave him the results of a recent blood test.
“My first reaction was shock. Then I was angry, then lots of denial… Those early years were very difficult and very lonely,” he says. “You don’t know whom to turn to have conversation and people don’t know what to say. It’s not something that people have experience with. There’s also the potential likelihood of massive judgments about what behaviors led to this and what kind of people this happens to.”
He also praised his “New Orleans” housemate Kelley Limp, who went on to marry “Party of Five” star Scott Wolfe, for her support.
“She’s my life sister,” Roberts says. “She was one of the first people I turned to and talked to. She has been strong and helped me through this.”
These days, Roberts lives in New York City and works as a digital design recruiter. He is also the father to his two-year-old adopted daughter.
“I had so many negative feelings I was forced to face,” Roberts says. “I’ve been on such a journey to overcome that. In a way, this has really been like my second coming out.”