Friday , August 14 2020

Jonathan Van Ness honors Planned Parenthood following HIV diagnosis, saying they are under attack from 'religious right'

Jonathan Van Ness has spoken about the significant impact Planned Parenthood has had on his life with his HIV diagnosis.

On Saturday, the resident grooming expert on the Netflix makeover show Queer Eye revealed in an interview with The New York Times that he is living with HIV.

In extracts taken from his soon-to-be-released memoir Over the Top, Van Ness recalled how when he was 25, he was diagnosed with Planned Parenthood after fainting one day at a hairdressing salon.

The 32-year-old has been further detailed in an interview with Refinery29 how grateful he feels towards the non-profit organization for providing him with medication following his diagnosis seven years ago.

“The enormous difference that Planned Parenthood has made in my life and my health meant I wanted to do everything I could to shed light on what Planned Parenthood does, the unfair attacks that are constantly being thrown at them, and the public health crisis that could create, ”he said.

Van Ness emphasized the importance of undergoing HIV testing and receiving treatment if they were diagnosed positive, stating: "Planned Parenthood is an organization that has meant a lot to me."

The hairdresser has teamed up with Planned Parenthood to create a video urging people to get tested for sexually transmitted infections.

The video will also shine a light on Title X, a US federal grant program that provides affordable reproductive health care and contraceptives to people who might otherwise not be able to afford it.

On the Planned Parenthood website, the organization outlines how the Trump-Pence administration has "repeatedly attacked the program" by proposing a "nationwide 'gag' rule" that would make it illegal for health professionals working within the Title X program to inform patients how to access safe and legal abortions.

"I wanted to work with Planned Parenthood because of the attacks on them from the religious right," Van Ness said.

“The ultra-religious, radical, right-wing fundamentalists are dictating our public health policy right now, and very dangerous.

"You have the Trump administration with this gag rule that basically forces Planned Parenthood out of Title X."

Van Ness also referred to how Trump previously instructed the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) not to use the word "transgender" in its 2019 budget.

"Not being able to use the word 'transgender' from the Centers for Disease Control is such a risk because trans people are disproportionately affected by HIV / AIDS and STIs," the Queer Eye star said.

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Following is the publication of his interview with The New York Times, Van Ness posted a note on his Instagram Story thanking his fans for their “love and support”.

“Taking the next few days to rest up, spend time with my bittens [kittens] and mom before the book tour get going .. I know I'm going to be a lot of hard work but ready [sic], ”He wrote.

“Just want to say thank you all so much especially me Queer Eye family and countless other friends and family for reaching out today. ”

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