Renowned HIV/AIDS Activist Hydeia Broadbent Passes away at 39

Diagnosed at three, she was part of America's "first generation of children born HIV positive" in the late 1980s

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 14: Hydeia Broadbent attends the Los Angeles premiere of Apple’s “They Call Me Magic” at Regency Village Theatre on April 14, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Leon Bennett/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by Leon Bennett / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

Hydeia Broadbent, a prominent HIV/AIDS activist, has passed away at the age of 39 after living with the disease since childhood. Diagnosed at three, she was part of America’s “first generation of children born HIV positive” in the late 1980s.

Despite facing challenges, Hydeia remained committed to spreading hope and education around HIV/AIDS. Adopted by Loren and Patricia Broadbent, who were told she wouldn’t live past five, she began advocating at the age of six.

In 1992, aged eight, she appeared on a Nickelodeon special alongside Magic Johnson, breaking down stigmas. Johnson, deeply impacted, described the moment as a turning point in his life, inspiring him to raise awareness.

At the age of 12 in 1996, Hydeia addressed the Republican National Convention with a powerful poem about her future despite living with AIDS. In 2002, she co-wrote a memoir with her mother, detailing their family’s experience.

Hydeia continued her advocacy until her passing, addressing depression in a 2018 blog post on her 34th birthday. Her legacy endures as a trailblazer in HIV/AIDS awareness and education.

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