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Home: New York, N.Y.
Diagnosed: February 1, 1992
After she was diagnosed with HIV in 1992, Bryant says her art took on a meaning that went beyond emotional support: It became her mission, her purpose, what she wanted the world to remember her for. "Having HIV makes me want to leave something of value behind" in addition to her wonderful daughter and granddaughter, she said. "My art is a statement that God has gifted me to show to the world that everyone has a talent of some kind. Don't be ashamed to represent yours to God and the world."
After more than 15 years living with HIV, Bryant is frank about her advice to people who have recently been diagnosed: "Don't be afraid to ask questions to doctors. Easy does it -- you don't have to know everything about HIV right away. Get counseling and attend peer support groups. Read all the HIV literature you can find. Most importantly, remember that HIV is not a death sentence; people are living longer every day."