World AIDS Day: 8 celebrities who contracted HIV/AIDs
Thousands of people die annually of HIV/AIDs, and the disease remains a frightening reality. Many live long and healthy life with the disease while some succumb to its grim existence.
There are celebrities who lived with the disease and still didn’t fall short is pursuing their professional goals.
In fact there are many of these celebrities made it their mission to inform as many as possible about HIV’s universal threat.
Let’s take a look at them.
Charlie Sheen announced on Nov. 17, 2015, that he is HIV-positive. The actor revealed he was diagnosed about four years earlier. “It’s a hard three letters to absorb. It’s a turning point in one’s life,” Sheen said.
Former child star Danny Pintauro told Oprah in September 2015, that he had been living with HIV for 12 years.
“I wanted to tell you this a long time ago, but I wasn’t ready. I’m ready now,” Pintauro told Winfrey. “I’m HIV-positive, and I have been for 12 years.”
He is now married to partner Wil Tabares and he is now dedicated to HIV/AIDS activism.
Former NBA Player Earvin “Magic” Johnson announced in 1991 that he was diagnosed with HIV. He created the Magic Johnson Foundation to help combat HIV and raise awareness about the virus. Johnson worked with the White House and the United Nations in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
A leading man in the romantic comedies of the 1950s and 1960s, actor Rock Hudson was among the first celebrities to die of AIDS-related diseases. His Oct. 2, 1985, death at age 59 led his friend and “Giant” co-star Elizabeth Taylor to spend the rest of her life raising funds for AIDS research.
Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the rock group Queen, was seen on Sept. 18, 1984, during a concert at the Palais Omnisports in Paris. Mercury was 45 when he died on Nov. 24, 1991, just days after quelling rampant speculation by admitting that he was HIV positive and had contracted AIDS.
British actor and director Tony Richardson, ex-husband of Vanessa Redgrave and father of Joely Richardson and the late Natasha Richardson, died of AIDS in 1991. He won Best Picture and Best Director Oscars for his 1963 movie “Tom Jones.”
Former tennis player Arthur Ashe addresses a 1992 World Health Organization (WHO) meeting on the World AIDS Day. Ashe, who contracted AIDS through a blood transfusion, spoke out on AIDS issues until his death on Feb. 6, 1993. He was 49.
Sci-fi author Isaac Asimov, seen in this 1984 photo, contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during heart bypass surgery. The cause of his April 6, 1992, death was listed as heart and kidney failure but 10 years later his widow revealed that both those causes were AIDS related.
Amanda Blake was a member of one of the longest running US television shows, Gunsmoke.
Though many knew that Blake’s cigarette habit had led to her 1977 diagnosis of oral cancer, few knew that she also had AIDS. Many assumed that cancer claimed her life on August 16, 1989. However, Blake’s death certificate reported that she passed away due to CMV hepatitis, an AIDS related illness. It was finally confirmed by Blake’s family that she had contracted HIV.