Appearing on U.S. show Oprah: Where Are They Now? on Saturday (26Sep15), the former TV star confessed he has battled a crystal meth addiction and was also diagnosed with HIV in 2003.

He told Oprah that he contracted the disease in February that year while addicted to drugs, as he became complacent about unprotected sex.

The Who's The Boss? star said, "It really did come out of the blue for me. At the time, my thoughts were very heavy in the 'No one is ever going to love me now. No one's ever going to want to have sex with me. I should just give up on trying to find someone.'"

The actor is now married, and he told husband Will Tabares about his HIV diagnosis on their first date, adding to Oprah, "If you're paying any bit of attention, you realise that HIV isn't a death sentence anymore. You can live a healthy life, you can have a happy life."

Pintauro insisted he was revealing his diagnosis in an effort to promote debate about HIV, saying, "For me, HIV is the new closet in the sense that, until we all come out of the HIV closet and start talking about it... we (won't become) more accepted...

"I feel like in the gay community, we've been spending so much energy trying to become socially acceptable and so much energy trying to make marriage happen - which I think are 100 per cent important - and, in doing that, we've forgotten about taking care of each other a little bit.

"Now that we've gotten to the place, we need to look within again. We need to take a step back, and we need to say, 'Okay, here's where we are, and here's what we need to do to get our community back to that place of taking care of each other'."

Pintauro later expanded on his point, telling U.S. magazine People, "I want my community to wake up, stop being complacent and start taking care of each other. We need to be the best we can - safe and healthy."