In Their Own Words: AIDS Fundraisers Share the Personal Stories that Motivate Them

Angelinos will dodge obstacles Sunday on their way through the city's downtown in a new effort to raise money for AIDS Project Los Angeles called "Concrete Hero — Ultimate Urban Obstacle Challenge." In their own words, here are the personal reasons some are joining in.

BY Advocate.com Editors

July 12 2012 5:05 PM ET



Steve Lapuk, 45, of Los Angeles:

“I am participating in Concrete Hero because I have lost several friends to AIDS.  I have several friends managing life with HIV, and HIV/AIDS is a major focus of my training and practice as a therapist.

I came of age during the height of the AIDS crisis in the mid-'80s and the association of the disease with being gay kept me from coming out until age 27.  There was never a time in my life when I didn't associate sex with HIV, and this is true for many gay men, adding an extra layer of shame many have felt from society just for being gay.”

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