Larry tested positive for HIV in 1986 and he didn’t tell anyone for 5 years. He felt the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS at that time made it difficult for people to share their positive status and a lack of understanding and resources made getting help a challenge. While there is no cure for HIV, medical advancements now allow HIV positive individuals, including Larry, to live with the disease. Today, he serves as an HIV/AIDS advocate, encouraging testing and helping people find care.
National HIV Testing Day is on Monday, June 27th. The Northern Virginia Clergy Council for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS (NVCCPHA) and the Fairfax County Health Department worked with Larry to create a new video sharing Larry’s story to encourage our communities to take charge of their health and promote HIV testing.
“We have the opportunity, once we’re diagnosed, to be able to apply the right kind of treatment...had I not gotten tested I wouldn’t have known that.” Larry Bryant, HIV/AIDS Advocate
Today, there are many free, easy, fast, and confidential HIV testing options available. Testing, including self-testing, is the first step to engaging in HIV prevention or treatment services. HIV testing is a critical tool to helping end the HIV epidemic in the United States. HIV Testing is Self-care: Taking the test is taking care of you.
Know your status
The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 – 64 years be screened at least once in their lifetime. CDC recommends people with specific risk factors be screened at least once a year. That includes:
- Sexually active gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men
- People who inject drugs
- Anyone who has had more than one sex partner since their last HIV test
- People who have been diagnosed with another sexually transmitted infection, hepatitis, or tuberculosis
Find an HIV Testing Location near you
There are many ways you can get an HIV test.
- Get tested at a Health Department clinic.
- Find an HIV testing location outside of Fairfax County Health Department, visit gettested.cdc.gov.
Visit the Health Department’s HIV/AIDS page to learn more.