The first known cases of HIV/AIDS were discovered in the early 80’s. Though much wasn’t known about the disease or how to effectively slow it down at first, there have been great strides in treatment and more and more HIV-positive people are learning to live longer lives with the disease. Unfortunately, these celebrities succumbed to the illness before such advancements were made and in honor or World Aids Day today, we remember them.
Tennis great Arthur Ashe was known for his lighting-quick agility on the court as much as his political activism off of it. Becoming tennis’s first Black millionaire, Ashe was famously arrested for protesting against President George H. W. Bush’s treatment of Haitian refugees. After contracting HIV from a blood transfusion in the early 80’s, Ashe made it his mission to educate the public about HIV and AIDS through the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS. The tennis legend passed away on February 6, 1993. He was 49 years old.