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From the time she was seven years old Hydeia Broadbent has been at the forefront of spreading awareness about the impact of HIV & AIDS. In 1996, her infamous statement at the Republican Convention– “I am the future and I have AIDS” — catapulted her and the reality of the disease to national acclaim.

Infected from birth by her crack-addicted mother, Broadbent, who was adopted by foster parents Patricia and Loren Broadbent, a biracial couple, Broadbent remembers when doctors didn’t believe she would live past the age of 10.

Now 26 years old and living with AIDS, Broadbent shares the truth about the disease and why the Black community should be more outraged at its growing status in the U.S. and across the globe.

“When I was younger, there was so much information on HIV/AIDS–fundraisers, events, and major television coverage. That’s why I can’t really blame young people. Because now that it’s not an immediate death sentence, it’s almost as if we only talk about it on December 1, which is great, but why do we not hear about it on December 2?”

“Today everyone’s so complacent, probably because we have medicines that prolong life and [those infected] are not dying at an alarming rate. Unlike during the 1980s, I can have a child without passing on HIV to my offspring or to my partner.”

“But we cannot say “I don’t want to use a condom because I look at you or Magic Johnson and I can just pop a pill and be okay.”

HelloBeautiful had the opportunity to hear Hydeia speak when we saw her at the WEEN Awards, see the photos here: Kandi, Nia & LeToya Celebrate Ween Awards With HelloBeautiful


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