Don Carrel graduated from Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in business management, married his college sweetheart, Karen and became a father of two sons, Christopher and Matthew.
Five years after his marriage, he reported to Karen that he was gay and that a divorce was the only solution. Don now resides in Mission, Kansas with his partner Chris and theirs dogs, Ellie and Emma.
Don has been living with AIDS since 1995. He suspects he was infected with HIV in 1981. Thirty years later, less than 2% of people with HIV worldwide have lived long enough to share their stories. While lying in a hospital bed with pneumocystis pneumonia – the most common form of death for someone with AIDS – Don had a riveting dream that would dramatically change his life and possibly the lives of more than 150,000 teenagers.
After making a full recovery, Don set out to teach young people what they needed to know about HIV prevention so that they wouldn’t wind up in his shoes. His lofty goal: to stomp out AIDS. Sixteen years later, Don has thousands of thank-you letters from teens who have heard his compelling school presentations. Today, Don hopes to reach an even wider audience with his book, My Dream to Trample AIDS.