World AIDS Day

By: Rosie Barresi Email
By: Rosie Barresi Email

The first day of December is World AIDS Day.

It's a day when millions around the globe remember those who have lost their lives to the disease and those who are still battling it.

In Colorado Springs alone, there are at least 500 known cases.

The story you're about to read, is about a man who, when he was just a teen, says, he did something that would map out the rest of his life.
He had unprotected sex. But, he wouldn't find out his fate until years later.

His name is Gary Archuleta. He became infected with H-I-V 19 years ago, living with AIDS for the past 13 years.

His fateful day came when he was just a teen.

Archuleta says, "She and I ended up having unprotected sex and it was that simple."

But the journey to finding out he had contracted H-I-V wouldn't be easy.

Two weeks after intercourse, he developed flu like symptoms. But his doctor told him he didn't have the flu. So, he took an AIDS test.
Archuleta says, "My test came back negative."

Which is why Gary says, you must take two tests, six months apart.

"Unfortunately for me I didn't have that second test.", says Archuleta.

A few years later he got married and was married for six years before his ex-girlfriend called him and told him he might be sick too.

Archuleta says, "So I had to face the prospect of going home and facing my wife and telling her not only was I H-I-V positive but that I had been H-I-V positive for the entire time that she and I had been together."

His wife, miraculously, didn't get the disease.

"I don't understand it, don't ask me to explain it.", says Archuleta

He and his wife divorced a short time later after doctors gave him two years to live.

But 19 years later, he's still alive and well.

Gary Archuleta's life is now devoted to speaking to high school students and he believes he is saving lives.

Archuleta says, "I'd like to think that I'm making them understand that it's out there in Colorado Springs."

World wide, 40 million people are suffering from H-I-V or AIDS.

In the U.S., there are more than 1 million cases.

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