Thursday, February 17, 2011

BLACK HISTORY SPOTLIGHTS: HYDEIA BROADBENT




Hydeia Broadbent is a 26-year old HIV/AIDS activist who has spent the majority of her young life promoting HIV/AIDS awareness throughout the country.

Broadbent contracted HIV at birth from her birth mother, an intravenous drug user who abandoned Hydeia at a Nevada hospital as an infant. She was soon adopted by Patricia and Loren Broadbent and diagnosed with full blown AIDS by age 3. Doctors predicted that Hydeia would not live past the age of 5, but to say she has defied the odds is an understatement.

Broadbent began speaking publicly and advocating for HIV/AIDS awareness at the tender age of 6. Initially it was Hydeia’s mother Patricia who was the activist and little Hydeia would usually accompany her mother to her speaking engagements. Many times when Hydeia’s mother was speaking, Hydeia would interject to remind her to mention something important she had left out and young Hydeia would frequently contribute her opinion to the conversation.

Hydeia pictured with her mother Patrica
Soon after Hydeia's speaking talents were recognized, and she was cast in a pediatric AIDS educational video called "I Need a Friend" for the National Institute of Health (NIH). Shortly after, Hydeia began participating in press conferences with Elizabeth Glaser, a co-founder of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. "She really has an inner sense of the impact of her disease, and she's able to relay that message to others," Dr. Philip Pizzo once told People magazine. Hydeia became the face of pediatric AIDS and helped to diminish some of the stigma and discrimination attached to the disease.


Hydeia has been featured  as a guest speaker on a wide variety of platforms ranging from college campuses across the country to the Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, ABC’s 20/20, and most recently BET’s "Weekly with Ed Gordon." Hydeia has received countless awards for her tirelessly work as an HIV/AIDS activist which include the American Red Cross Spirit Award, AIDS Action National Leadership Award, 
2007 Choose Life Awards honoree from The National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS and the 1999 Essence Award. 

Hydeia pictured with her good friend actress Jurnee Smollett
Today, Hydeia is a beautiful, well adjusted 26 year-old college student living a happy and full life.

Hydeia, thank you for continuing to lend your voice in the fight against HIV/AIDS…you truly are an inspiration to us all!!!

Check out the video of Hydeia's recent interview with Ed Gordon  and MORE after the break!












***UPDATED***





"I never blamed my mom, but that’s not how we were raised – we didn’t blame other people for OUR problems."

"It’s a choice disease, we chose our behavior, we chose our sexual partners therefore we chose the outcome."

"The biggest prevention is our voice…we need to STOP waiting for people to save us…we learned from Katrina…we need to get in those boats and save ourselves!"

I remember as a young girl watching Hydeia, and just being AMAZED at how she spoke with such conviction about the cause and at such a young age.

I’ll never forget watching a show Hydeia and NBA legend Earving Magic Johnson were featured on. Hydeia got real choked up and began sobbing when she started explaining how she had been discriminated against by her teachers and classmates because of her disease. It broke my heart, and it still does. I got so emotional doing this post when I began reviewing old footage of the aforementioned video.

Check it out!



"You keep on going because you have to!"


Hydeia is truly one of America's National Treasure and we must protect her and help her spread the word about HIV/AIDS and NOT just on World AIDS Day!

You can follow Hydeia on Twitter and visit her website!

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1 comment:

  1. were is your footage from the essence Awards 1999

    ReplyDelete