Hydeia Broadbent, a prominent HIV/AIDS activist known for her inspiring talks in the 1990s as a child to reduce the stigma surrounding the virus she was born with, has died. She was 39 years old.

Broadbent’s father announced his death in a Facebook post, saying he had died unexpectedly “after living with AIDS since birth,” but provided no further details.

“Despite facing numerous challenges throughout her life,” wrote Loren Broadbent, “Hydeia remained determined to spread hope and positivity through HIV/AIDS education.” HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, attacks the body’s immune system and is the virus that causes AIDS. .


The Clark County Coroner’s Office said Broadbent died Tuesday in Las Vegas. His cause and manner of death have not yet been determined.

Broadbent was adopted in Las Vegas by her parents Patricia and Loren Broadbent when she was a baby, but her health was not known until she became seriously ill at age 3. By age 5, Ella Broadbent had developed full-blown AIDS.

Hydeia Broadbent

The late Hydeia Broadbent, then 14 years old, speaks at the 1999 Essence Awards in New York on April 30, 1999. (AP Photo/Stuart Ramson, File)

Patricia Broadbent began giving talks to local groups about the difficulties of raising a child with AIDS, and little Hydeia listened and absorbed everything she heard.

Soon, Hydeia Broadbent was speaking to the crowd.

She did the talk show circuit as a child, meeting the president and first lady, speaking at the 1996 Republican National Convention, starring in a television special on Nickelodeon with Magic Johnson and appearing in a segment on the show “20/20.” from ABC.

Broadbent, 7, became a national HIV symbol when she joined Johnson on the 1992 Nickelodeon special, where the basketball legend opened up about his own HIV diagnosis. The teary-eyed girl pleaded that all she wanted was for “people to know that we are normal people.”

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, Johnson said he was devastated by the news of her death and remembered Broadbent as an activist and heroine who “changed the world with her bravery.”


“By speaking out at such a young age, he helped many people, young and old, because he was not afraid to share his story and allowed everyone to see that those living with HIV and AIDS are ordinary people and should be treated with respect.” Johnson wrote. “Cookie and I are praying for the Broadbent family and everyone who knew and loved Hydeia.”

By Sam