In the summer of 1985, Mike Petrelis was savoring life as young, openly gay man in New York City. He'd landed a cool job working for a film publicist who mostly handled foreign art films. He'd found an affordable apartment — not far from the gay mecca of Greenwich Village.
Then one day, Petrelis noticed a sort of blotch on his arm.
He went to a doctor, who ran a new kind of test, and gave Petrelis the verdict: "You have AIDS."
"He was saying that if I was going to be lucky I'd have six months to maybe two years of life left," recalls Petrelis.