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Hydeia Broadbent, HIV/AIDS activist who raised awareness on tv at young age, dies at 39

written by: Natalie Neysa Alund

AIDS activist hugs 12 year-old Hydeia Broadbent, who has AIDS, on the podium of the GOP convention Monday after the girl talked about her ailment.© ROBERT HANASHIRO, USAT


Hydeia Broadbent, a life-long AIDS and HIV activist, has died, her family announced.

She was 39.


"With great sadness, I must inform you all that our beloved friend, mentor and daughter Hydeia, passed away today after living with Aids since birth," her father, Loren Broadbent wrote in a Facebook post. "Despite facing numerous challenges throughout her life, Hydeia remained determined to spread hope and positivity through education around Hiv/AIDS."

Born with HIV in 1984, Broadbent began raising awareness about the virus during her early years.


She made national headlines when she appeared as a guest on television programs including "The Oprah Winfrey Show" at age 11 and "Good Morning America". Additionally, she spoke at the 1996 GOP convention in San Diego, California.


Hydeia Broadbent was adopted after abandonment

According to her website, Broadbent was adopted at birth by her parents after being abandoned at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.

At age three, doctors diagnosed the young girl with HIV.


Before she became a teen she became a public voice for the virus and later partnered with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation on several AIDS advocacy and awareness campaign including its “God Loves Me” billboard campaign.


Hydeia Broadbent, a life-long AIDS and HIV activist, has died, her family announced.

She was 39.


"With great sadness, I must inform you all that our beloved friend, mentor and daughter Hydeia, passed away today after living with Aids since birth," her father, Loren Broadbent wrote in a Facebook post. "Despite facing numerous challenges throughout her life, Hydeia remained determined to spread hope and positivity through education around Hiv/AIDS."


Born with HIV in 1984, Broadbent began raising awareness about the virus during her early years.


She made national headlines when she appeared as a guest on television programs including "The Oprah Winfrey Show" at age 11 and "Good Morning America". Additionally, she spoke at the 1996 GOP convention in San Diego, California.


Hydeia Broadbent was adopted after abandonment


According to her website, Broadbent was adopted at birth by her parents after being abandoned at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.

At age three, doctors diagnosed the young girl with HIV.


Before she became a teen she became a public voice for the virus and later partnered with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation on several AIDS advocacy and awareness campaign including its “God Loves Me” billboard campaign.


What is HIV?


HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, attacks the body's immune system and, according to the Centers for Disease Control, if not treated can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).


According to HIV.gov, nearly 1.2 million people in the Unites States have HIV. Of them, the agency reports, closed to13 percent of them don’t know they have virus.


"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," she posted on the site prior to her death. "For those living with HIV/AIDS, please know life is never over until you take your last breath! We are responsible for the choices we make and I challenge everyone to be accountable."

Funeral arrangements were not immediately known.


Natalie Neysa Alund is a senior reporter for USA TODAY. Reach her at nalund@usatoday.com and follow her on X @nataliealund.


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