Calling: HIV/Aids Activist
Why we’re saluting her:
Hydeia Broadbent is a testament to the fact that HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence and shouldn’t be treated as such. Born with HIV in 1985, Broadbent wasn’t diagnosed with the disease until the age of 3, and at that time she was told she wouldn’t live past the age of 5. Now at 27, Broadbent has been an HIV/AIDS activist for 21 years and devotes her life to spreading AIDS awareness by promoting abstinence, safe-sex, and an initiative called “Knowing Your HIV/AIDS Status.”
A huge stigma still surrounds HIV/AIDs today, and Broadbent is known as a pioneer for being the first African American to speak up about her own status and speak out about the disease which disproportionately affects the black community. Between appearances on major networks like ABC, NBC, and CBS; features in major publications from the New York Times to Essence, Ebony, and National Geographic; and participation in panels at Duke University, UCLA, USC, and Howard University, there doesn’t appear to be a platform Broadbent is opposed to using to educate others about this disease. Her mission is HIV/AIDS prevention and she lives that message every day.
In a society that wants to shame and blame individuals living with HIV or AIDs, Broadbent is a figure of hope and courage to the masses and for that reason, we salute her.