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  • Writer's pictureVolume 82 Magazine

Nationally Renowned HIV/AIDS Activist Hydeia Broadbent, Who Was Born With HIV Dies at 39

Hydeia Broadbent. Photo/Instagram

Hydeia Broadbent, the 39-year-old HIV/AIDS activist, passed away in her sleep yesterday, according to Essence.

Hydeia was introduced to the world at age 12 when she appeared on the "Oprah Winfrey Show" and the Maury Povich Show to share her story about living with HIV. She was reportedly abandoned at the hospital after birth and adopted by her parents, Loren and Patricia Broadbent at six weeks old. Her father, Loren, announced her death.

Hydeia on the "Oprah Winfrey" show

Doctors reportedly didn't know Hydeia was HIV positive until she was three years old. Her tenacious spirit as a child allowed her to share her story with the world. Doing so, she was embraced by many others, including other HIV/AIDS-positive activists and patients, such as former NBA player Magic Johnson and Chicago native Rae-Lewis Thorton. Rae shared a post, remembering the 39-year-old on Instagram: "I'm sad to announce that renowned AIDS Activist Hydeia Broadbent passed away today. Over the years our paths crossed so much we became friends. Rest my sister Rest. Your legacy will live forever. Good and faithful servant well done ❤️🙏🏽 love you Deia."

She was a guest on a Nickelodeon special with Magic Johnson in 1992, "A Conversation with Magic," he commented about her passing as well via Instagram; "I'm devastated to hear about the passing of an incredible young woman, activist, and hero, Hydeia Broadbent. In 1992, I did a Nickelodeon special called" "A Conversation with Magic," and 7-year-old Hydeia and I made an incredible impact. Hydeia changed the world with her bravery, speaking about how living with HIV affected her life since birth. She dedicated her life to activism and became a change agent in the HIV/AIDS fight. By speaking out at such a young age, she helped so many people, young and old, because she wasn't afraid to share her story and allowed everyone to see that those living with HIV and AIDS were everyday people and should be treated with respect. Thanks to Hydeia, millions were educated, stigmas were broken, and attitudes about HIV/AIDs were changed. We will miss her powerful voice in this world. Cookie and I are praying for the Broadbent family and everyone that knew and loved Hydeia."

Hydeia was sincerely passionate about educating others about HIV. In 1996, she attended the Republican Convention; the young activist told the audience, "I am the future, and I have AIDS." According to Essence, "In 2002, her family published a book titled "You Get Past The Tears," Up until her passing, she was known as a noted international motivational speaker, sharing her stories with others. Additionally, since 2014, Broadbent has represented the Magic Johnson Foundation as well as other AIDS activist organizations to educate people about HIV/AIDS, promoting abstinence, safe-sex practices (for people who choose to have sex), and HIV/AIDS Awareness and prevention."

Hydeia's work was loved and appreciated by many. She will be missed.

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