Pulsipher family of Queen Creek chair AIDS Walk AZ, 5K Run Phoenix

The Pulsipher family of Queen Creek has been chosen to chair the Oct. 25 AIDS Walk Arizona and 5K Run Phoenix event. Andrew Pulsipher, left, posted the above to Facebook. (Special to the Independent)

The Pulsipher family of Queen Creek has been chosen to chair the Oct. 25 AIDS Walk Arizona and 5K Run Phoenix event. Andrew Pulsipher, left, posted the above to Facebook. (Special to the Independent)

 

The Oct. 25 AIDS Walk Arizona and 5K Run Phoenix, an Aunt Rita’s Foundation event, is for the entire family and the 2015 event chairs exemplify this message. Going public via social media this May, Andrew Pulsipher of Queen Creek, who is HIV positive, posted a photographic message of himself with his wife and children, who are HIV negative, on Facebook that had more than 16,000 shares worldwide.

The family has been chosen to chair the event to lend their voice to reduce the stigma of HIV and AIDS.

All funds raised at the walk Saturday, Oct. 25, at Central and Washington in Phoenix, are distributed equally to the 17 member agencies that provide programs to prevent HIV/AIDS or assist those living with the disease at the Red Brunch – A World Aids Day event in December. Register online to walk, run, sponsor a walker, runner, team or pet, donate directly as well as find parking and light rail information or call 602-904-6001.

Mr. Pulsipher, 34, was born with HIV. He is the youngest of four and the only child infected with the disease. His parents both died of AIDS; his father died when Andrew was 4 and then he lost his mother when he was 8. While in the hospital before he died, his father made arrangements with his brother and wife to raise his children along with their four children.

His aunt and uncle raised him to have a normal life, sharing his status with a few family members outside the immediate family and a couple close friends. At 8, he was placed on AZT, the only medication available. He went to school, church, began dating and found the love of his life, Victoria. Neither family knew of Andrew’s status when they married, as they wanted to begin their lives without judgment or fear.

After they were married for a year, they shared Mr.  Pulsipher’s secret to their immediate family, as well as their desire to start a family. To ensure the safety of their first child, they underwent fertility treatments, however Andrew’s HIV became undetectable, so they were able to conceive their second and third children naturally. Today, he has three children ages 6, 3 and 1 and this October they will celebrate their 10-year wedding anniversary.

Founded in 1989, Aunt Rita’s Foundation is a 501(c)3, nonprofit agency that advocates HIV education and awareness and raises and equitably distributes funds to 17 HIV/AIDS nonprofit organizations with programs to prevent HIV/AIDS or assist those living with the disease. Since 2005 the foundation has granted over $1.2 million to its member agencies.

For more information, go to the website or call 602–882–8675.

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