San Carlos Apache 'Warrior' Ran Half-Marathon to Honor Natives Lost to AIDS


Isadore Boni, a San Carlos Apache member, was diagnosed with HIV and Hepatitis C in May 2002. In November 2004, he was diagnosed with AIDS. On January 20, 2013, he ran his fourth half-marathon at his personal best time of 2:15.

The HIV and AIDS survivor, who tours the state of Arizona as an educator for HIV prevention, ran PF Chang's Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon in Phoenix in memory of Native people who have died of AIDS complications and "to remind people living with AIDS that anything is possible," he said.

The openly gay HIV/AIDS-prevention advocate aims to reduce the stigma attached to people living with HIV/AIDS within Native American communities.

"When I share my story about how I got infected, and what I did NOT do to prevent getting the virus, that itself is a message of prevention," he told NativeOUT in 2005. "When I share my struggles and pain I endured the past 3 years, that is a message of prevention. When I share the negative comments or even the beatings while being homeless, that is a message of prevention."

Boni realizes his vocal role in the fight against AIDS is opening conversation streams about the disease and reducing bias. "As for stigma, the more 'secretive' and 'quiet' we remain, the more shame will grow," he told the magazine. "And with more shame comes a greater amount of stigma. One person cannot stop stigma, but one person can make a difference."