Young Political Activist Comes Out Publicly About HIV Status
He’s a fresh new face on the Florida political scene - with a brave story to tell.
Meet Aaron Darr, 23, a self described "warrior for the middle class" who calls Largo, Fla. home. He is also gay and HIV positive and very open about both.
"I want to start a dialogue," Darr said about disclosing his HIV status. "And I want to do it before the other side tries to define me as some dying AIDS patient."
Darr is far, far from that. He is energetic, cheerful, loves to talk politics and is intent on making a difference. He describes himself as a "Clinton Democrat" and is flirting with the idea of running for either the Florida House of Representatives or U.S. Congress in his adopted home of Pinellas County, a district he calls "bellweather" in national politics.
"I woke up one morning and realized that I can’t sit on the sidelines anymore because there are too many in the state of Florida that are hurting right now," said Darr, who added he will likely decide about which office to pursue in November.
In the meantime, Darr is giving interviews to news outlets across the globe about his story of struggle, survival and, ultimately, success. He grew up in Ohio, raised by a single mother.
"My father was abusive," he said. "My mother worked two jobs so I had to learn how to cook and clean and take care of myself early."
He realized he was gay early too, coming out when he was 13. Later, during his junior year in high school, he tested positive for HIV.