Hydeia Broadbent, who teamed up with Magic Johnson in HIV/AIDS struggle, dies at 39


Hydeia Broadbent began talking publicly about her experiences as somebody with HIV/AIDS when she was a younger little one.

“I need individuals to know that we’re simply regular individuals,” a 7-year-old Broadbent instructed Magic Johnson throughout a Nickelodeon information particular that aired in March 1992, 4 months after the Lakers famous person introduced he was retiring from basketball as a result of he was HIV-positive.

Broadbent by no means stopped talking out in regards to the virus and illness — and Johnson thanked her for her braveness.

A number one activist in HIV/AIDS consciousness, Broadbent, who was born with HIV, died Wednesday at age 39, her father mentioned in a Fb submit. The reason for dying was not specified.

“With nice disappointment, I have to inform you all that our beloved buddy, mentor and daughter Hydeia, handed away as we speak after dwelling with AIDS since beginning,” Loren Broadbent wrote. “Regardless of going through quite a few challenges all through her life, Hydeia remained decided to unfold hope and positivity by means of training round HIV/AIDS.”

Johnson took to X (previously Twitter) on Wednesday to pay tribute to his longtime buddy. His submit included a video clip of their interplay on “Nick Information with Linda Ellerbee” in addition to pictures of the 2 of them collectively within the years since then.

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AIDS Healthcare Basis President Michael Weinstein, left, Hydeia Broadbent and Magic Johnson attend the premiere of ESPN Movies’ “The Announcement” on March 6, 2011, in Los Angeles.

(Joe Kohen / Related Press Pictures For Aids Healthcare Basis)

“I’m devastated to listen to in regards to the passing of an unimaginable younger girl, activist and hero Hydeia Broadbent,” Johnson wrote. “In 1992, I did a Nickelodeon particular referred to as ‘A Dialog with Magic’, and 7-year-old Hydeia and I made an unimaginable affect. Hydeia modified the world along with her bravery, talking about how dwelling with HIV affected her life since beginning. She devoted her life to activism and have become a change agent within the HIV/AIDS struggle.

“By talking out at such a younger age, she helped so many individuals, younger and previous, as a result of she wasn’t afraid to share her story and allowed everybody to see that these dwelling with HIV and AIDS had been on a regular basis individuals and must be handled with respect. Due to Hydeia, tens of millions had been educated, stigmas had been damaged, and attitudes about HIV/AIDs had been modified. We are going to miss her highly effective voice on this world. Cookie and I are praying for the Broadbent household and everybody that knew and cherished Hydeia.”

Broadbent was deserted as a new child at a Las Vegas hospital and adopted by her mother and father, Loren and Patricia, as an toddler. They didn’t know that Broadbent was born with HIV till she acquired critically sick at 3. At that age, she was identified as HIV-positive, and two years later, the virus developed into AIDS. Her organic mom was an intravenous drug addict.

Broadbent’s public talking profession started when she was 6. Quickly after, in March 1992, Broadbent was certainly one of 13 youngsters who appeared with Johnson and Ellerbee on Nickelodeon after Johnson shocked the world together with his HIV announcement in November 1991.

Broadbent was certainly one of two youngsters who raised their arms when Ellerbe requested if any of them had been HIV-positive. Her “regular individuals” remark was the one sentence she uttered throughout this system.

Instantly after talking, Broadbent began wiping away tears, then broke down sobbing. Johnson rubbed her again and spoke to her in a soothing tone.

“You don’t need to cry,” he mentioned. “‘Trigger we’re regular individuals. OK? We’re. You simply wanna be handled like that, proper? You simply need your pals to play with you? And name you up and are available by and nonetheless have sleepovers and issues like that? Proper? Yeah. And it’s OK to cry, it’s OK to cry. You recognize, I feel that you simply — with this program I really feel that we’ll have the ability to educate all your pals and all people else.”

Broadbent would find yourself having lots extra to say over the following 32 years.

At age 11, she instructed Oprah Winfrey the worst a part of having HIV/AIDS was “when your pals die.” Talking on the 1996 Republican Nationwide Conference, a 12-year-old Broadbent mentioned, “I’m the longer term, and I’ve AIDS.”

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AIDS activist Mary Fisher kisses 12-year-old Hydeia Broadbent as they handle the night session of the 1996 Republican Nationwide Conference in San Diego.

(Ron Edmonds / Related Press)

Broadbent continued her advocacy as an grownup — making appearances, doing interviews and giving lectures. She additionally labored with the AIDS Healthcare Basis on a number of AIDS advocacy and consciousness campaigns, driving on the muse’s float within the 2013 Rose Parade and showing in AHF’s “God Loves Me” billboard marketing campaign.

“I attempt to inform it as actual as I can, that this isn’t a illness they need,” Broadbent instructed CNN in 2012. “The present technology, they don’t know the truth of HIV/AIDS. They have a look at me and Magic Johnson and suppose you possibly can pop a capsule and be OK. They don’t know the seriousness of the illness. They don’t know the unintended effects of the drugs. They don’t know the monetary realities of the state of affairs.

“They actually don’t know that you may die.”


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