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Dick Donato: ‘Big Brother’ Star Reveals He’s HIV Positive — Watch

Wed, October 1, 2014 12:07pm EDT by Emily Longeretta 3 Comments
Dick Donato HIV Positive
Courtesy of VH1

So sad! Dick Donato, AKA ‘Evel Dick’ from ‘Big Brother’ 8, just revealed that in 2011, he was diagnosed with HIV! He will come clean on the Oct. 1 episode of ‘Couples Therapy.’ Watch a sneak peek here.

Dick Donato, 51, is currently trying to make his relationship work with his on and off girlfriend, Stephanie Rogness-Fischer on VH1’s Couples Therapy. However, he reveals in the upcoming episode that the actual struggle is within — and that she didn’t want him to say on the show that he actually has been suffering with HIV.

Dick Donato Is HIV Positive

Following the success of Big Brother season 8, Dick was asked to return for season 13, which he gladly did. However, on day six in the house, he had to go home for an unknown personal reason — and that was HIV.

“They told me that something was wrong with my blood test,” Dick told People, adding that he did two HIV tests — one came back negative, one positive.”When they told me, I just went numb. They had a car take me from CBS to my mother’s house. She was the first person I told.”

Now, Dick is revealing the news to the public for the first time on Couples Therapy. In the clip, he tells Dr. Jenn Berman, and says that his ex-girlfriend didn’t want him to tell anyone. So, why now? Well, after hiding for years, he made a realization.

Dick Donato: Why He Went Public

“Look, I get that I’m a reality-show villain,” he said. “But for better or for worse, I have a platform. And I decided that it was time to just publicly say what I’m dealing with. On one hand, I’m doing this for myself: I don’t want to hide anymore. On the other hand, I hope it will remind viewers to get tested, practice safe sex, all those things we know in the back of our minds but maybe don’t do. After I told everyone on Couples Therapy, I had two production people pull me aside and say that they had gotten tested. I feel like I can do some good.”

As for how he contracted the disease, he doesn’t know — but he does know people will “make assumptions.”

“People are afraid to come forward because they’re afraid of the stigma of HIV,” he said. “I’m not gay and I’ve never stuck a needle in my arm, but at this point, it doesn’t matter. We create a stigma around the disease that makes it hard for people to publicly say they have it.”

Dick revealed in the interview that now he does live a “normal life,” taking one pill a aday, and does not ever have unsafe sex anymore.

“I fully expect to die of something else when I get old, not HIV or AIDS,” he said.

You can watch his confession on Couples Therapy at 9pm on VH1 on Oct. 1. He will also tell the rest of the contestants on the show at some point during the season. We’re wishing Dick all the best.

Watch Evel Dick’s Confession

— Emily Longeretta

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