“RuPaul's Drag Race” Star Q Reveals HIV-Positive Diagnosis: 'It's So Stigmatized' (Exclusive)

"People have said really awful and nasty things to me," the drag queen said on Friday's episode of the Emmy-winning series

Friday's episode of RuPaul's Drag Race was an emotional one for contestant Q.

While preparing for the runway, the 26-year-old entertainer from Kansas City, Missouri opened up about her health, revealing that she was diagnosed as HIV-positive two years earlier.

PEOPLE has an exclusive clip from the season 16 episode. Q, who has been celebrated on the show for her fashions, was motivated to discuss the the topic while putting together her look.

"I am doing something very sentimental for the runway today," she said. "It's inspired by the generation of gay people that we lost to the AIDS epidemic in the '80s. So it's really, really special to me."

Related: Billy Porter Reveals He Was Diagnosed as HIV-Positive 14 Years Ago: 'The Truth Is the Healing'

<p>MTV</p> 'RuPaul's Drag Race' star Q opens up about her HIV-positive status


'RuPaul's Drag Race' star Q opens up about her HIV-positive status

Related: Danny Roberts Blasts 'Real World Homecoming' for Cutting His HIV Journey: 'Huge Missed Opportunity'

Coming to terms with the news that she had contracted the human immunodeficiency virus wasn't easy for Q at first. "When I first got my diagnosis I felt like really lost and I felt, like, super alone," she told fellow queen Plane Jane. "I tested positive when I was 24. I was mostly scared about how I was going to be treated by family and people around me who don't understand it because it is so stigmatized."

Her fears came true with some. "You know, people have said really awful and nasty things to me and almost de-humanizing me," she recalled.

"It's crazy how much people with HIV have to deal with. I've been treated differently by like, health care providers," added Q. "I think it's so important to have queer people in health care. You really feel that difference in care between those providers."

Joked Plane Jane: "Do you hear that gay people? Stop doing drag and start going to medical school!"

Related: Sheryl Lee Ralph on the Inspiration Behind Her AIDS Activism: 'Somebody's Got to do Something'

<p>MTV</p> Plane Jane confronts Q as she discusses being HIV-positive on 'RuPaul's Drag Race'


Plane Jane confronts Q as she discusses being HIV-positive on 'RuPaul's Drag Race'

Q is not the first RuPaul's Drag Race contestant to come out as HIV-positive.

In the first season, fifth place finisher Ongina memorable broke down on the runway after revealing her diagnosis. "I didn't want to say it on national TV because my parents didn't know,' she said. "You have to celebrate life and keep going, and I keep going."

Her words were celebrated by RuPaul, who called her "an inspiration" and "a survivor."

Years later, in a season 6 episode of Untucked, Trinity K. Bonet disclosed her HIV-positive status. "I was diagnosed in August 2012, and I have so much to live for," she said. "I have so many goals and aspirations that I want to conquer in my life, so I'm not going to let an obstacle get in the way. I wanted to come on this show, and I wanted to be that voice for people who are scared to speak out about that."

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Q, for her part, said on Friday that she's come a long way from the fear she initially felt.

"I'm here, I'm on Drag Race, I know I'm living my dreams," she said. "I know I have a loving husband that really supports and loves me, no matter what."

RuPaul's Drag Race airs Friday (8 p.m. ET) on MTV.

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