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Hydeia Broadbent, AIDS activist, dies at age 39

Hydeia Broadbent, known for raising awareness for HIV/AIDS since she was a young child, has died, her father said on Facebook. She was 39 years old.

“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. Despite facing numerous challenges throughout her life, Hydeia remained determined to spread hope and positivity through education around HIV/AIDS,” Loren Broadbent said in his post.

Hydeia was six weeks old when she was taken in by Loren and Patricia Broadbent after being abandoned at a Las Vegas hospital by her biological mother, CNN previously reported.

When she was 3, the family learned a woman with the same last name as Hydeia had also given to birth to a boy at the same hospital where she was born, and left the child there. Both the mother and child tested positive for AIDS.

The family had Hydeia tested and she was positive as well.

Hydeia Broadbent was the Grand Marshall of the 2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Denver. - Lyn Alweis/Denver Post/Getty Images
Hydeia Broadbent was the Grand Marshall of the 2000 Martin Luther King Jr. Parade in Denver. - Lyn Alweis/Denver Post/Getty Images

Hydeia became the face of children with AIDS in America. She appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Maury Povich Show,” “Good Morning America” and numerous other programs. At the 1996 Republican Convention, Hydeia, then 12, told the crowd, “I am the future, and I have AIDS.”

In a post on X, Earvin Magic Johnson paid a tribute to the young activist he met when she was just seven years old.

“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,” Johnson said.

“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,” he added.

CNN has reached out to Hydeia’s family.

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