Former Big Brother reality TV show winner Richard Louis Donato also known as “Evel Dick” Donato has announced that he is HIV positive.
Mr. Donato who won Big Brother 8 (US version) said via his twitter that “I went public because I was sick of being worried someone would find out and “out” me. I wanted to do it on my own terms TV reaches most ppl”
He told People Magazine that he can’t say for sure how he contracted the HIV but says it could be during an unprotected sex with a woman.
Mr. Donato urged people to get tested for the deadly HIV virus to know their status so they don’t unintentionally spread it.
“PLEASE… Get tested, know your HIV status and help us all by not continuing to pass this on to other people”. Donato said via twitter.
The development has raised a debate in some public domains as to whether participants on reality TV shows such as the Big Brother Africa be allowed to engage in intimate sexual activities.
Mr. Emmanuel Yeaboh, a freelance entertainment writer in an interview with VibeGhana.com said HIV testing for housemates on reality TV programs must be of a big priority.
He said although he does not know how and if housemates on reality show are tested, he feels there should be a quick review of testing policies for TV shows especially if there is the possibility of mates engaging in unprotected sex.
“This man got tested twice when he went for the show and one of the test came out negative and the other positive, that tells you that extensive checks are very important to catch the right result of the health of one”.
Mr. Yeaboh urged reality TV show organizers in Africa to focus more on the health of housemates to ensure that accidental spread of the HIV virus does not happen.
“When you read some of the press releases inviting people to audition for reality TV shows in Africa, you will notice that most of the time organizers do not talk about health but rather focus too much attention on the entertainment part. That attitude must change and governments around Africa must demand a clear HIV testing policy from reality shows”.