Steve Stagon was given two years to live. That was 1988.

“Back then it was a death sentence,” said Stagon, speaking about his AIDS diagnosis.

Stagon, a Pennsylvania native, moved to South Florida shortly after his diagnosis and began an amazing recovery. Today, the President of the World AIDS Museum and Educational Center, hails the community contacts he has made as a life saver.

“When I moved to South Florida, I joined support groups,” he said. “It was much easier to come out here than Pennsylvania. The groups provided a safe place to meet people like me and make friends.”

Since 2006, Stagon has led a support group, Pozitive Attitudes, which meets monthly at the Pride Center in Wilton Manors. He got the idea for a World AIDS Museum after doing ample research and finding nothing that tells the story of this deadly disease that has claimed the lives of more than 25 million people globally.

“We want to increase awareness and decrease stigma,” said Stagon, on the museum’s mission.

In his spare time, Stagon enjoys gardening, working out at Steel Gym and going to the movies. He is a proud owner of two Griffon Bruxellois dogs. 

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