Hydea Broadbent, who was born with HIV and spent her entire life – starting as a child – an advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, died on February 20 at the Neurorehabilitation Center in Las Vegas. She was 39 years old.

Ms. Broadbent, whose biological mother suffered from drug addiction and was eventually diagnosed with HIV, was 3 1/2 when she was diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus. She was 5 years old when she was diagnosed with AIDS.

Under the care of her foster parents, Lauren and Pat Broadbent, Ms. Broadbent was one of the first pediatric patients to receive AZT and other antiretroviral drugs for HIV/AIDS treatment. She overcame a constant health battle to survive her prime for more than three decades.

Lauren Broadbent confirmed his daughter’s death and said he did not yet know the cause. He said she suffered a heart attack and stroke in September and has been hospitalized or in rehab ever since.

Mrs. Broadbent in 1992 Appeared on NickelodeonA children’s television channel with Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the basketball star who recently announced that he is HIV positive.

Magic Johnson looks back on HIV ad 20 years later

At the time, HIV testing carried a crippling stigma that the virus was transmitted through blood, semen, and other body fluids, but not through casual contact, but among gay men and intravenous drug users.

Ms. Broadbent’s predecessor on the national stage, Ryan White, a prominent youth HIV/AIDS advocate, fought for the right to education in public schools in Indiana before he died at age 18 in 1990. .

“I want people to know that we’re just people,” Ms. Broadbent, 7, tearfully told the Nickelodeon audience as Johnson tried to comfort her.

Johnson later said that Mrs. Broadbent helped inspire him to dedicate himself to HIV/AIDS causes. For Ms Broadbent, their TV interview together was “a bridge to a higher profile and more confidence”. He told the New York Times. In 2006

She has been a frequent speaker at schools, churches and HIV/AIDS events and on television. She appeared at the age of 11 Oprah Winfrey’s talk showDescribing the reality of the disease.

Despite drug treatments that greatly extended and improved her life, she was a victim of brain fungus, blood infections, pneumonia and other medical emergencies. The worst part of the disease is “when your friends die,” she said.

But Ms Broadbent delivered a message of hope and resilience. “I’m the next doctor. I’m the next lawyer. I’m the next Maya Angelou. I could be the first woman president. In 1996, when she showed up at the Republican presidential nominating convention, I’m the future, and I have AIDS,” she said.

Growing up, Ms. Broadbent spoke candidly to young people about ways to stop the spread of HIV. For those who do have sex, she encourages abstinence, condom use, and other safer sex practices. As an African American, she spoke about the disease’s impact on the black community in particular.

“I have dedicated my whole life to this struggle,” said Mrs. Broadbent He told CNN in 2012.. “I don’t hate my life. I feel truly blessed. But at the same time, my life doesn’t have to be theirs. I didn’t have a choice when it came to HIV/AIDS; And people have choices.

Ms. Broadbent was born in Las Vegas on June 14, 1984, and at 6 weeks old, her prospective adoptive parents named her Hodeya. When her adoption became official, she took the middle name Lauren after her adoptive father.

News reports about Ms. Broadbent’s life have repeatedly described her as being abandoned by her biological mother at birth. Kimberley McCoy, Miss Broadbent’s half-sister, who is 14 years older, said in an interview that their mother wanted Haydea to move on, but she was arrested because of her drug addiction.

When Mrs. Broadbent’s biological mother gave birth to another child and she and the child were found to be HIV positive. Health officials contacted the Broadbents and requested that Hydea be tested. She was diagnosed with the virus.

Ms Broadbent’s foster father, a former drug and alcohol counsellor, ran a non-profit organization that reweathered homes. Her foster mother, who works in social services, would travel with Hadiya to the National Institutes of Health outside of their Las Vegas home in Washington for treatment.

Her parents, who had a total of three children, including a second child who was HIV positive, eventually divorced.

When Ms. Broadbent was in kindergarten, a teacher who knew her HIV status would spray Clorox on her when she sneezed, Lauren Broadbent said. That incident, coupled with Hydeya’s recurring health problems, led Broadbents to home-school her with the help of tutors until she reached junior high.

During her treatment, Ms. Broadbent met Elizabeth Glazer, the wife of “Starsky & Hutch” actor Paul Michael Glazer. Elizabeth Glaser contracted HIV in 1981 from a blood transfusion during childbirth. Her daughter and later a son both contracted the disease.

After her daughter’s death in 1988, Elizabeth Glaser helped start what became the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Fascinated by Hideya — who, at age 5, liked to pretend she was news reporter April O’Neil from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” — she made her first public appearances before appearing with Johnson on Nickelodeon.

“Hadiya bravely changes the world, as she talks about how living with HIV has affected her life since birth,” Johnson Posted on XThe social media platform, formerly known as Twitter, following Ms Broadbent’s death.

He added: “She helped a lot of people, young and old, by speaking out at this young age, because she wasn’t afraid to share her story and let everyone know that people living with HIV and AIDS are everyday people.” Treat them with respect.

Sometimes, Mrs. Broadbent says. She felt She described a “compulsion to be perfect” that led to depression. But those who knew her said she found deep meaning and satisfaction in her work and in her success in improving the lives of people affected by HIV and AIDS.

Anthony S. Fauci, a prominent AIDS researcher who later led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, knew Ms. Broadbent from her days at the NIH and said in an interview that “her results are outstanding.”

“To meet a young girl who was born with HIV” “We are ordinary people, we are real people,” he reflected.

Survivors include her adoptive parents, both of Las Vegas, and several siblings from her adoptive and biological families. A list of survivors was not immediately available. Her biological father, Ronald Dishmon, He died in 1992 and her biological mother, Beverly Page, died in 1993.

“Nobody really knows how long they’re going to live,” Ms. Broadbent told Oprah when she was 11. “I… I don’t say to myself, ‘Oh, you have AIDS,’ or, ‘I’m going out and it might hit me. Bus tomorrow.

“If you sit in your bed and feel sorry for yourself, and you don’t get up with the birds and sit there and say, ‘I’m going to die,’ why get up and try to make a difference?” she continued. “But when you say, ‘Today is another day,’ I can get up, I can do something, I can do something positive.”