Pastor talks about life with AIDS - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pastor talks about life with AIDS

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November 27, 2002

< P> < P> < STRONG> < /STRONG>

ALBANY - When you think of HIV and AIDS you probably picture, something that happens to someone else, somewhere else.

Not so says, Blakely Pastor Alex Harris, "AIDS is a disease that affects all walks of life."

Harris knows, because he's one of the thousands of South Georgians living with AIDS, more than 400 are in Dougherty County alone.

"Disease keeps spreading because people aren't being tested," Harris said.

A new Albany organization wants to do it's part to stop that.

"We don't how many walking around HIV positive, how many not tested and are at risk, why we're pushing for education and awareness in the community.

Sunday at 6 they'll have a candlelight vigil on the front lawn of God's House, 106 North Monroe Street. It's to educate the community on the deadly disease, and to remember those who have lost their lives. One of those probably should have been Harris, infected in 1982, he's survived, but had to battle many complications from his weakened immune system.

"I've had diarrhea, weight loss, couldn't walk, significant pain," he said.< /STRONG>

Today's he's doing better with a little help from God's house which offers assistance with food, rent and other bills piling up for AIDS patients. But he says their best gift is helping teach the public both how to avoid the disease, and embrace those who walk around with it everyday.

posted at 5:30 p.m. by dave.d'marko@walb.com