The "Queer Eye" star, 32, shared excerpts from his upcoming book "Over The Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love" where he said he learned of the diagnosis after going to Planned Parenthood for flu-like symptoms at the age of 25.
"That day was just as devastating as you would think it would be,' he wrote in the memoir.
And Van Ness had reservations about revealing the news, according to the article.
"When "Queer Eye" came out, it was really difficult because I was like, 'Do I want to talk about my status?'" he told the publication.
"I've had nightmares every night for the past three months because I'm scared to be this vulnerable with people," he admitted. "It's hard for me to be as open as I want to be when there are certain things I haven't shared publicly," he added.
But now Van Ness considers himself a proud "member of the beautiful HIV-positive community."