Monthly Archives: October 2011

Pedro Zamora… another life changed by HIV/AIDS resource centers.

While looking for info on the The Names Project/AIDS Memorial Quilt I kept coming across one of the quilt panels with the name ‘Pedro Zamora’ on it.  Tonight I researched his story a little… and spent much of that time on the verge of tears… with inspiration welling up inside of me.  This is a man we can learn from.  Pedro was a cast member on The Real World: San Francisco in 1994.  He was openly HIV positive.  Pedro was a junior in high school when he was diagnosed Nov 9, 1989.

Despite the devastation of his family at the news, he decided to redouble his efforts to graduate from high school before he died, though he did not give much thought to his health, as he was still in denial. He graduated high school in 1990, a year early, but five months later, he suffered a severe case of shingles that covered the entire right side of his body and face. With medication, the condition subsided after two months, but it inspired Zamora to join a Miami-based HIV/AIDS resource center called Body Positive, where he met others with HIV and AIDS, and educated himself about the disease, learning how to lead a positive life with it. Soon thereafter, he came to talk about his condition to others to attempt to raise awareness about the disease in his community.  –wikipedia.com

With just a couple Google searches it becomes very evident just how much awareness Pedro brought to HIV/AIDS.  He put a face to the disease and humanized it… greatly decreasing the false stigma that surrounds it.

Pedro found the resources and support he needed at Body Positive, an HIV/AIDS resource center not unlike Souther Arizona AIDS Foundation (SAAF).  With the support he found there Pedro went on to lead a positive, healthy, successful life regardless of the amount of time he had left.  His life continues to inspire us today.

These are pictures of Pedro during the filming of The Real World: San Francisco (Feb 12 – Jun 19, 1994).

This is a picture of Pedro a few days before his death on Nov 11, 1994… just five months after filming finished on The Real World: San Francisco.  Pedro died the day after the final episode of The Real World: San Francisco aired.

Organizations like SAAF are changing and saving lives everyday.  They give support, direction, and hope to those who feel devastated by their diagnosis… something I have witnessed personally.

My team ‘Run for Red’ is currently raising money for SAAF’s AIDSWALK Tucson 2011.  Please consider participating by either donating or registering to run/walk at AIDSWALK.

Click here to donate or register to run/walk.

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