Native AIDS Survivor, Activist Runs Marathon: ‘We CAN Run Marathons too’

On January 18, 2015, I completed my first full marathon in Phoenix. It wasn’t easy because statistics told me Natives have the shortest life span after HIV infection.

Back in 2002 when I was diagnosed with HIV and Hepatitis C in Phoenix, my health was at a border between HIV and AIDS. I was immediately taken to a Native AIDS support group. To this day, I am the only one from that group who is still alive.

Born and raised on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona, I never thought a tribal would get AIDS. Education was extremely limited about the virus. Rumors were rampant when the virus was discovered, and I remember looking for red or purple spots on my body thinking it was Kaposi’s Sarcoma, a disease AIDS patients got in the early days.


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