Born HIV-infected to a crack-addicted mother and diagnosed with full blown AIDS at age 3, Hydeia Broadbent was not expected to live past the age of 5. More than 20 years after receiving that death sentence, this beautiful young woman blogs, tweets and travels the country to educate people about the importance of AIDS prevention, testing, early diagnosis and treatment.
“Early diagnosis can be the difference between life and death,” says Broadbent. “Too many people become aware of their status when it is too late for life-saving medications to be effective — I am in this fight because I truly do not want others to go through what I have gone through — but also keep in mind, a positive test result doesn’t have to mean a death sentence.”
Some uninformed people hear stories like Broadbent’s and believe that because HIV-positive people are now living much longer, prevention is not a big deal anymore. Broadbent warns audiences not to fall into that trap. This young lady knows firsthand that living with AIDS is no walk in the park. The drugs have serious side effects, are very costly and they must be taken every day. If you are following Broadbent on Facebook or Twitter, you know her emergency room visits are frightening and expensive.
“People think because I was born with HIV my story does not apply to them,” warns Broadbent. “Well, this same disease I am living with is the same disease you can get if you don’t practice safe sex and know your HIV status and the HIV status of your sexual partner. I ask people to use my testimony as a warning of what you don’t want to go through.”
If you have been thinking about getting tested, but still haven’t found the courage or will to get it done, let this young woman’s concern for you give you the nudge you need to be concerned about yourself.
“We are responsible for the choices we make and I challenge everyone to be accountable. Every 9 ½ minutes someone becomes infected with HIV. Knowing your HIV status is not only a representation of self-love but also states what kind of person you choose to be. Not knowing your HIV status and having unsafe sexual relationships means you could possibly be infecting others,” Broadbent says.
Visit www.HydeaiaBroadbent.com for more information on this awesome young lady.