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Oprah’s had plenty of memorable guests over the course of her 25 year talk show. You may remember one of those people was Hydeia Broadbent back in the 1996. With her hoop nose ring, thick braids and squeaky voice, an 11 year old Hydeia explained what it was like living with AIDS. Born HIV positive Hydeia had symptoms of full blown AIDS at just 5 years old.

“I had had fungus in my brain, blood infections, pneumonia. I went Code blue a couple of times. And when I was 5, that’s when they said I had full blown AIDS.”

Hydeia, who had up until that point, appeared to be the pinnacle of composure and poise, broke down when Oprah asked her what was the hardest part about living with the disease. She said: “When your friends die. That’s the hardest part because you love them and you always lose a friend to AIDS…a lot of my friends have died of AIDS.”

But despite the unimaginable struggles of he life, Hydeia, even at 11, had a positive outlook. She told Oprah, “If you stay in your bed and feel sorry for yourself…and say, ‘I’m going to die’ then why get up and try to make a difference? But if you say, ‘Today’s another day. I can get up, I can do something, you can make something positive.'”

Though Hydeia had not been expected to live past childhood, today, at almost 30, caught up with the people over at OWN to speak about her life since the show, the emotional struggles of her childhood, the challenges she still faces, dating with AIDS and what she hopes to accomplish next.

Check out her inspirational story in the video below.

Young HIV Activist Hydeia Broadbent Defies the Odds

Hydeia Broadbent was born with HIV in the ’80s, and by the time she was 6 years old, she’d already become a well-known activist and public speaker. Over the years, this former Oprah Show guest has inspired millions, including NBA legend Magic Johnson. Now, Hydeia opens up about dating, turning 30 and her plans to start a nonprofit organization.

You can take a look back at Hydeia’s original appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996, here.

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