A couple’s decision to adopt a baby girl who had been rejected by 10 other families because she was HIV positive has turned into a heartwarming viral story.
Damian Pighin, 42, and Ariel Vijarra, 39, were the first gay couple to get married in the north-eastern Argentine province of Santa Fe where they live, and they made the decision to expand their family in 2011.
However the couple were forced to wait around three years before they received a call about a, HIV-positive newborn called Olivia in 2014, who could not be placed with other families, and who they were therefore being given the chance to adopt.
Dads: Damian Pighin, left, and Ariel Vijarra adopted one of their two daughters Olivia, right, after she had been rejected by 10 other couples because she was HIV positive
Sisters: Olivia, right, was joined by little sister Victoria, whom the couple also adopted in 2015
At the time, Olivia had been rejected by 10 other couples because of her HIV, however her diagnosis didn’t stop Damian and Ariel from welcoming her into their home with loving arms.
At now, at five years old, Olivia is free from signs of the virus.
Baby: After welcoming Olivia home in 2014, pictured, she began treatment for HIV
According to Unilad, the couple both work for a non-governmental organization called Acunar Familias, which roughly translates to Cradle Families, helping couples adopt unwanted children.
After waiting three years to receive a fateful call about a baby, Ariel said there was an ‘immediate connection’ upon meeting Olivia.
At the time, he told local media, ‘As soon as I saw her, I felt that she was part of my life.
‘The connection was immediate.
‘We held her in our arms, gave her the bottle and she looked at us with her eyes wide open without crying,’ he continued.
It is reported that the Ariel and Damian were the first same-sex couple in their province to adopt a baby.
Family: Damian, in pink T-shirt, and Ariel wish one of their daughters a Happy Birthday in an adorable family photo
Passionate: The couple, pictured with Olivia when she was an underweight baby, both work for an NGO which helps ‘unwanted children’ find homes
Media: The couple were interviewed by local media in 2015, who said they were the first same-sex couple to adopt a baby in their province
Once taken in by the couple when she was 28 days old, Olivia’s health began to improve and she put on weight.
Ariel explained that she responded very well to her HIV treatment.
A few years ago, the couple received the joyous news that the virus was no longer detectable in her system.
As per Avert.org, there is no known cure for HIV yet. However, treatment can control HIV and enable people to live a long and healthy life.
‘A functional cure would suppress the amount of HIV virus in the body to such low levels that it can’t be detected or make you ill – but it would still be present,’ the website clarifies.
In 2015, the family grew by another member when Ariel and Damian adopted a little girl named Victoria, who, like Olivia, will also be soon celebrating her fifth birthday.
According to Pink News, the story comes just months after a new study, called PARTNER2, proved that there is zero risk of transmitting HIV while on antiretroviral treatment.