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Otis Jr

Hi my name is Otis Harris Jr. I’ve always been somewhat surrounded by people that I knew they were HIV infected but never thought it would happen to me. I remember telling my dad. He, you know, asked me what was my HIV status and my heart started beating fast. I just sat there and I was like oh gosh, should I lie to him should I tell him the truth? I was like okay you have to find out sooner or later so let’s just go for it. He was like okay, I would still be there for you. It made me kind of calm down.

My deciding moment after I was told I was HIV positive was you know, I live or I die. I had a life to live, I got so many things I wanted, you know, that I planned to do and I was not just to let this virus stop me from what I wanted to do. Just tell me what I need to do in order to keep the virus you know maintained. I have no problem doing it, like I said, I wanted to live so if that’s what I have to do then I will do it.

I’m Otis and this is my deciding moment. Learn more at

Otis is a young, gay man living in Dallas. Despite always having a very close relationship with his family, he waited a year to tell them that he was living with HIV. That fear was quickly replaced with hope and love.

With the support of his family, Otis is managing his HIV and living a full life. Today, he counsels other young people newly diagnosed about how to talk with their families about HIV and about getting into care.

Click here to learn more about HIV treatment – including the health and preventive benefits of starting treatment early.