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Top Design cast member discloses he is HIV-positive

Top Design cast member discloses he is HIV-positive

On Wednesday's episode of Bravo's new series, Top Design, cast member John Gray discloses that he is HIV-positive, reports USA Today.

Gray, a self-taught designer from Chicago, reveals that his angry outbursts in last week's episode were fueled by his increased levels of testosterone, which he takes to counteract the lower levels caused by HIV. He had his dosage increased 400% right before TopDesign started because he was unsure how long he would be away from home.

Gray tells his cast mates on the show: "I just want everyone to know I'm HIV-positive. I'm not making excuses or apologies."

The only other television reality star to reveal he was HIV-positive was Pedro Zamora on The Real World: San Francisco in 1994. Zamora, an AIDS educator, used the show as a platform to educate people and clear up misconceptions about AIDS.

Gray, however, does not want to take on that role: "I don't want to be the new face for HIV or be on the cover of Out. I felt the cast was entitled to an explanation for my behavior."

Yet advocacy groups such as the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation applaud Gray for disclosing his condition. Damon Romine of GLAAD says, "This visibility is important in raising awareness that HIV is a major health issue." (The Advocate)

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