Hydeia Broadbent: Champion, Crusader & Changing The Face Of HIV

(Photo credit: Hydeia Broadbent Instagram)

In 1996, on “The Oprah Winfrey Show”, Hydeia Broadbent, who was 11 years old at the time, shared her experience in living with AIDS in front of millions of viewers. Broadbent was born in 1984 with HIV, and was born addicted to crack and heroin. She was adopted at 6 weeks old, and her adoptive parents, Loren and Patricia Broadbent, found out she had HIV three years after her adoption. Now at 33 years old, Broadbent has traveled all over the globe making on-air appearances and connected with people of all different cultures to share her story of courage, and tips on how to avoid at-risk behaviors through informed decision-making.

As one of the first African-American youth to openly discuss HIV/AIDS, Broadbent has been recognized as a top influencer by EBONY, TheGrio.com, TheRoot.com, Essence, 20/20, Good Morning America and many other media outlets.
“I actually don’t remember her crying,” says Broadbent. “I remember being on the stage and spending time with her after the show. She introduced me to her dogs and she gave me an All American Girl Addy Doll. Last year when I was featured in Oprah’s Where Are They Now, the response was overwhelming. I found out I was one of the most requested updates by viewers. So many people feel like they have watched me grow up, and are just excited to know I’m doing well and still speaking out.”

“When I was really young, I didn’t understand the magnitude of what I was doing,” admits Broadbent to the Red Pump Project. “But I knew I wanted to make sure I was accepted and also for many of my friends. Talking to youth, men and women everywhere is what I believe in. You have to be an example to the audience you are trying to connect with. Sharing your story with others about how you promote abstinence and enable safe-sex practices is what will drive continued prevention and awareness of HIV/AIDS.”

“People think because I was born with HIV my story does not apply to them. Well this same disease I am living with is the same disease you can get if you…