Born with HIV, Life at Age 29

"It really reflects the progress we've made," said Gallant, who points out that it was only in the last 10-15 years that HIV positive people were allowed to receive any organ transplants at all.

Doctor Uses Partial HIV Virus to Fight Cancer

Gallant also said from a scientific standpoint it's remarkable how far medical options have come for HIV positive patients.

"For me primarily as a treatment focused person it's been incredible to see this from go being a real horrible death sentence to being easier to treat than diabetes or congestive heart failure or arthritis," said Gallant. "If you had to pick one of those three it would be HIV."

Valentin says he is obviously happy about these innovations and treatments, but that they have also had the unexpected consequence of making him feel like he's from a lost generation.

"A friend of mine, we call of ourselves…the generation that was forgotten, we were suppose to die at 5 or 12 or 13 and now we're 29 because we have our own babies," said Valentin.

Although Valentin is grateful that medications have kept his HIV in check and his son and wife HIV negative, he reacts like survivor of any trauma in that he wants people to remember that the disease can have lasting consequences even when it is afflicting a person.

Lamont said he still remembers his last image of his mother, dying of AIDS with Jello in her mouth barely able to move. It's an image that has driven him to keep looking for a cure for his lung diseases, so that his son, now a 18-month-old toddler, does not have to grow up without a parent.

"Not having a parent around or not having a mother around was hard," said Valentin. "It's important to me to have that parental connection with my son. It's the most important thing in my life."

According to the World Health Organization, more than 35.3 million people are living with the virus. In the U.S. 1.1 million people are living with HIV and approximately 20 percent are aware they have the virus.

A video of Lamont Valentin's story is available to watch here.

In honor of World AIDS Day, ABC Health will be holding a tweet chat this Tuesday, December 3rd at 1 p.m., ET. Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News' cheif health and medical correspondent will be moderating the chat and we'll be joined by some of the top experts in the world as well as patients who know first hand what it's like to live with the disease.

Join us to learn everything you need to know about AIDS and HIV. We'll also discuss the bright spots -- recent advances in research and treatment that offer hope and a better quality of life for those living with this disease.

You don't have to be a Twitter expert to join the chat. Click here to learn how easy it is to participate.

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