For nearly three decades, Hydeia Broadbent has served as a constant reminder about the spread of AIDS, globally. When the cause needed a champion, Hydeia burst on the international stage, captivating millions with her message of hope for those living with HIV/AIDS–she was six.
By the time Hydeia was 12, she had appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, eventually making appearances on other national talk shows and public service announcements for MTV, BET and VH1.
Broadbent marks her 34th birthday by kicking off a tour to reconnect with friends, supporters and organizations from her past, Hydeia 35/30. In addition to speaking engagements the tour will feature a 35th Birthday Gala (2019) and a 30 Years of AIDS Activism Retrospective (2020).
Hydeia was friends with activist Elizabeth Glazer, founder of the Pediatric AIDS Foundation. It was Glazer who helped Hydeia share her story on the global stage. Wise beyond her years, Broadbent eloquently and plainly conveyed the challenges of life with HIV and AIDS. She passionately advocated for people to get tested and to “know your HIV status.” By age 12, Broadbent was the face of the AIDS movement, appearing on national programs like the Oprah Winfrey Show and speaking at the Republican National Convention (1996). Broadbent would go on to win numerous awards and recognitions, and receive the key to her city, Las Vegas.
Like many children who grew up in the spotlight, Broadbent’s transition to adulthood was rocky at times but she faced her challenges and has emerged with a renewed passion for activism. Broadbent now plans to include in her conversation a discussion about mental health education. Like Right On!’s publisher Cynthia Horner, Broadbent is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
The activist comments, “It is important that as we talk about HIV and AIDS awareness in the 21st Century activists must begin to have serious conversations about how mental health plays and major role,” says Broadbent. “I know that addressing my mental health was a key to my return to normalcy.”