Big Brother’s Evel Dick Reveals HIV-Positive Status
Fans of Big Brother will undoubtedly remember Dick Donato (aka Evel Dick), who continues to be the long-running summertime reality show’s villain to out-villain. He took home the top prize, $500,000, on Season 8 of the show, and he returned for an all-stars comeback on Season 13. On that latter season, however, he decided to leave the show early on without much of an explanation.
This week he’s shedding light on the reason he left: It was revealed to him in the Diary Room, where houseguests give interviews throughout the course of the show, that he was HIV-positive.
“Producers told me that something was wrong with my blood test,” he says in an interview with People. “They had done two HIV tests. One had come back positive and the other had come back negative.”
Another test was given, and two hours later Donato was told he was positive. “When they told me, I just went numb,” he says. “They had a car take me from CBS to my mother’s house. She was the first person I told.”
In the interview he talks about the stigma of HIV, and the fact that many still consider it a gay disease.
“People are going to make assumptions about how I got it, and that’s okay,” he says. “People are afraid to come forward because they’re afraid of the stigma of HIV. 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.”
Read more about Donato’s experience with HIV, including his treatment and how he plans to use his public platform to bring attention to the importance of getting tested here.