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HIV Activist Hydeia Broadbent Dead at 39


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HIV activist Hydeia Broadbent died from natural causes on Feb. 20 at age 39.

Broadbent was born crack-addicted with undiagnosed HIV in Las Vegas. She was adopted at 10 months old and diagnosed with HIV at age three. Doctors told her adoptive parents she wouldn’t live past age 5.

By age 5, Broadbent was diagnosed with full-blown AIDS. But she lived to become the youngest HIV activist and public speaker at age 6.

She appeared on the Oprah Winfrey Show and other national talk shows.

Broadbent made an emotional appearance in a 1992 Nickelodeon special alongside Magic Johnson, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1991.

“I want people to know that we’re just normal people,” the 7-year-old said tearfully.

“Hydeia got HIV by no doing of her own, and so a lot of times we have to get the message out that this is what happens,” said Johnson in the HIV/AIDS special, A Conversation With Magic.

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“We are so proud that they were able to get this footage, put it in, and let people know the work I was doing back then and still the work that I’m doing today,” he added.

Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Broadbent and Johnson, 64, remained lifelong friends.

Broadbent was committed to fighting the stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS around the world.

She recently said, “HIV is not a death sentence, but it’s a life sentence… you’ll be taking pills forever, going to the doctor and fighting for insurance forever.”

On her personal website, Broadbent wrote:

“The world has seen me grow from a gifted little girl to a woman with a passion and mission to make sure each and everyone of us is aware of our HIV status as well as the status of our sexual partners. For those living with HIV/AIDS, please know life is never over until you take your last breath!”

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