Hydeia Broadbent Tributes Pour In For Black Woman Whose HIV/AIDS Story Changed The World

Source: Robin L Marshall / Getty

Tributes have been pouring in on social media after it was reported that world-renowned HIV/AIDS activist, advocate, and fighter Hydeia Broadbent has died. Over the past day, several sources have confirmed her passing on social media, including Hydeia’s father, her friend and fellow AIDS activist, Rae Lewis-Thornton, and her friend Jurnee Smollett.

RIP HIV/AIDS activist Hydeia Broadbent. Never forget seeing her on the Oprah show that day talking bout it. Doctors said she wouldn’t make it beyond 5yrs old.
Rest with the angels pic.twitter.com/YJAw9UZk6e

— VINCENT (@Vince_Aries) February 21, 2024

For many of us ’80s babies, Hydeia was the first person we saw who looked just like us with HIV/AIDS. She was one of the youngest advocates in history. Born with the disease, she was diagnosed at age three and became an advocate at age six. By age 12, her story made it to the international stage.

For nearly two decades, Black Girls Rock! has been a platform to celebrate Black women.

Today, we honor the extraordinary impact of our 2010 M.A.D. Girl (Making A Difference) honoree, @HydeiaBroadbent, as seen in this clip.

She embodied the essence of what it means to ROCK! pic.twitter.com/TzNHOHPgAH

— BLACK GIRLS ROCK! (@BLACKGIRLSROCK) February 22, 2024

Hydeia Broadbent looked like me. The only difference was she spoke to Oprah Winfrey about having HIV/AIDS.

Source: Lyn Alweis / Getty

I remember seeing her on the Oprah Winfrey show. I was captivated – as were many others in the televised audience  – by her every word. She was chocolate like me and my age. Her hair was in braids, like mine. And she reminded me of my younger cousins, neighbors, and friends at church.

Rest in Power nice girl. You were so sweet and had more strength than I’ll ever know #ActUp #FightAIDS #HydeiaBroadbent @HydeiaBroadbent pic.twitter.com/Yzj4sAV8IR

— Blonde Ambixion (@_adrian_sean) February 21, 2024

The only difference was she was speaking on national television about having HIV/AIDS. Answering questions about her experience, she told Oprah the “hardest part” about the disease was losing her friends.

“No one really knows how long anyone’s going to live. Because I don’t put myself like, ‘Oh, you have AIDS,’ or I could go outside and get hit by a bus tomorrow, and you never know. If you stay in bed and feel sorry for yourself and don’t get up with the birds and just sit there and say, ‘I’m gonna die,’ why [not] get up and try and make a difference? When you say, ‘Well, today is another day I can get up, I can do something and make something positive,’” she said during the interview.

Hydeia Broadbent’s visibility and courage broke stigmas and changed conversations.

As a fan and supporter, there seemed to be something special about Hydeia. At 12, she was already thinking about how her life impacted others. Despite her age and innocence, she fully embraced responsibility.

Job Well Done Hydeia!! U Were A Trailblazer For The Fight Against Hiv/Aids Since U Told Your Story As A Little Child. U Were The Definition Of Grace In It’s Beautifullest Form Every Time Your Presence Was In Any Room Or On The Tv Screen. Heaven Is Shining So Bright Now pic.twitter.com/qKFWlYdk6J

— Let Go Let GOD (@MyYear4Greater) February 21, 2024

Later in life, Hydeia told the U.S. Office of Women’s Health, “I have to say it’s a blessing to be able to turn something negative into something positive. Helping others remain HIV-negative or inspiring others living with HIV or AIDS to see the beauty in each day and not give up has given me a sense of purpose.”

Her purpose took her to several international stages, conferences, and events. She won numerous awards, such as the Trumpet Community Activist Award, and collaborated with celebrities such as Mariah Carey, Nas, Magic Johnson, and Janet Jackson. And in 2002, Hydeia published “You Get Past The Tears,” a memoir.

Source: Johnny Nunez / Getty

Further, Hydeia made HIV/AIDS real for us. Hydeia’s visibility, courage, and fearlessness changed perspectives, broke stigmas, and evolved conversations.

Thank you for being a change in this world! @HydeiaBroadbent #HydeiaBroadbent #MahatmaGandi #MariahCarey #HERO #OprahWinfrey #OWN #HIVPrevention #ONE #HOPE #LOVE #PEACE pic.twitter.com/pfn50XFiDj

— Lambily #MariahCarey (@Lambily_MC_Soul) February 21, 2024

But her image wasn’t one of pity but of beauty, resilience, and strength. And that strength we remember today. Known as ‘Deia to her friends, Hydeia lived a full life. Her social media pages show she enjoyed short nails, her natural hair, and her sorority, Sigma Gamma Rho, Sorority, Inc.

Defeating the odds – and many medical predictions – Hydeia passed away at age 39. See Jurnee Smollett’s fitting tribute to Hydeia below.

SEE ALSO:

RIP Joe Madison: Tributes Pour In After ‘The Black Eagle’ Radio Legend And Activist Dies At 74

Dexter Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr.’s Youngest Son, Dies At 62


The post Hydeia Broadbent Tributes Pour In For Black Woman Whose HIV/AIDS Story Changed The World appeared first on NewsOne.

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