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Denise Stokes, 1 of 5 Spokespeople Chosen for this year’s AIDS Walk Atlanta & 5K Run

Atlanta, GA--  Denise Stokes learned she was HIV positive when she tried to enlist in the army as a high school senior in 1986. She believes she contracted the disease at age 13, when she was raped, which means she has been living with HIV for 28 years.

When she was first diagnosed, the disease was new and doctors could only guess how long anyone infected would survive. Today, at 41, thanks to new drug treatments, Denise lives a productive life as an HIV community educator and advocate for AID Atlanta.

As part of her community outreach efforts, Denise works with AID Atlanta’s SISTA SOL program, which provides educational programs, outreach activities, and social support for African American women at risk for HIV and other STDs.