Originally published on Advocate.com April 10 2004 12:00 AM ET
HIV-positive athlete Stephen Kovacev of Truro, Mass., will represent the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod in the 108th Boston Marathon, held April 19. The marathon will be Kovacev's eighth Boston run and 11th marathon overall. In 1997 Kovacev became the first person with AIDS to complete the Boston Marathon. "The ASGCC is an essential part of my well-being, and for the greater Cape community," says Kovacev, 50, an ASGCC client since 1989. "I continue to run marathons in part to remind the public that there is still no cure for AIDS. The physical challenge also benefits me emotionally and spiritually, and almost every time I run a marathon I experience a boost in T cells and a lowering of my viral load as a result of the rigorous training." Kovacev also competed with an all-HIV-positive crew in the 1997 TransPac Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu. The 2,200-mile race was filmed by HBO for the documentary Rock the Boat.