A Hollywood actor living with HIV has reportedly been urged to reveal his identity.
The unnamed man has been called to come forward and help dispel the stigma surrounding the infection.
Earlier this week it was reported that an actor, who has a long list of exes, has been diagnosed with HIV .
Those close to the actor have encouraged him to reveal his identity and “own it” in public despite his concerns that the news could define his career as well as leading to potential lawsuits from ex-lovers.
“Lots of people close to him have suggested he face this situation head-on and own it publicly,” a source told The Sun.
“Obviously it would be a huge story, but the reality is HIV is entirely treatable in this day and age and shouldn’t impact his ability to work or lead a normal life.”
They added: “It could be a game-changer in the understanding of HIV given that he’s a straight man.”
British HIV charity, the Terrence Higgins Trust, today are concerned about perpetuating the stigma surrounding HIV and have said “it is utterly wrong to disclose an individual’s HIV status without their permission”.
Shaun Griffin, its executive director of external affairs, said: “Stigma is a dangerous construct and we’ve seen that it has a damaging effect on individuals and on public health.
“It can deter people from accessing testing or treatment, and can isolate a person living with HIV causing anxiety or depression.”
The unnamed actor reportedly has a long list of exes who include a TV star, a glamour model, an award-winning actress, a religious movie star, a top Hollywood personality and more.
His lawyers are said to be aware of the situation and are preparing for a handful of potential legal claims.
A source told the newspaper: “It has now become common knowledge that this star is HIV positive, something he has known for a number of years. His lawyers are bracing for the threat of potential action.
“The reality is that if he’s knowingly put women at risk then that’s disgusting and it’s only a matter of time before that becomes public.”
Other high-profile stars who are living with HIV, which weakens the immune system and can develop into AIDS, include NBA star Magic Johnson and Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s Holly Johnson.
More recently, Danny Pintauro – who starred as Jonathan Bower in hit show Who’s The Boss? from 1984 to 1992 – revealed he had been carrying the HIV virus for 12 years.
Around 100,000 people are living with HIV in the UK, with roughly two thirds of people living with it being men and a third women, according to the National Aids Trust.