"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" star Lee Thompson, affectionately nicknamed "Uncle Poodle," recently revealed that he is HIV positive.
The reality TV star, whose sexual orientation was allegedly the inspiration behind his unusual nickname, recently made the admission in an interview with Atlanta LGBT magazine Fenuxe. Thompson is the openly gay uncle of the show's main star Alana, who crafted the nickname, and he is also the brother of her father, "Sugar Bear."
"I was adamant about getting my HIV status checked on a regular basis. On March 16, 2012, I tested negative," Thompson explained to Fenuxe. "Then, in May of 2012 my test results came back positive. I knew it had been my boyfriend who infected me!"
Thompson was advised to press charges against his partner, and although initially he was reluctant, he eventually followed through "hesitantly."
"I later learned he had been HIV positive and was not taking medication and had not bothered to tell me about it. I was advised that I should press charges and, hesitantly, I did. It was the right thing to do," he said.
"I would have been cool with his HIV status if he had been honest. I don't have an issue with the disease. I would have known how to protect myself," he continued.
"Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" began airing on the TLC network in August and has already become a leading reality TV show series. The show saw its ratings soar from 2.2 million viewers to almost 3 million viewers in just one month, according to Nielsen.
Alana, who is undoubtedly the show's most popular character, has been branded the next "Shirley Temple" by actress Rosie O'Donnell. Thompson recently explained how the 6-year-old beauty pageant contestant came up with his nickname "Uncle Poodle."
"We were at practice one day, getting ready for a pageant. Her coach was talking about her gay friends, and she said, 'I love all my poodles,'" he told the Georgia Voice.
"Alana thought she was really talking about dogs. She wanted to know how many poodles she had, and what were their names. And I said, 'No, Alana, she's talking about gay people.' Well, that did it. All gay people are poodles to her now, and I'm her number one poodle," he added.