Friday, October 21, 2011
Hydeia Broadbent HIV/AIDS activist
Hydeia Broadbent's debut as a HIV/AIDS activist and public speaker began at the age of six. By the age of 12 she was appearing on national television programs including Oprah, 20/20, Good Morning America and "A Conversation with Magic Johnson." Over the next ten years Broadbent became a notable speaker and guest panelist at some of America's most respected educational institutions: Duke University, Clark Atlanta University, UCLA, USC, and Howard University. Since 1996, she has been featured in some of today's most prominent publications, including Essence, Ebony, New York Times, POZ Magazine, Seventeen, and Heart & Soul, and has appeared on such television networks as Nickelodeon, MTV, and BET. Broadbent has also been honored with an American Red Cross Spirit Award and a 1999 Essence Award. She was a featured speaker for the International AIDS Conference in Toronto, Canada, in 2006, and in a year later had the honor of speaking at the 2007 Essence Music Festival, as well as the 2007 Bishop TD Jakes first Aids Rally at the Potter's House in Dallas, TX.
Ebony named Broadbent one of the "Most Influential African Americans" in a list of a 150 people in 2008. She has also been a part of some of America's top radio talk programs including, but not limited to, Russ Parr Morning Show and The Tom Joyner Morning Show. She also took part in the first satellite radio programs dealing with HIV/AIDS. Recently, she was invited by BET Network's Chairman and CEO Debra Lee to participate as a panelist in the first annual Leading Women Defined Summit in Washington, DC.
At birth, Broadbent was abandoned at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas where Patricia and Loren Broadbent adopted her as an infant. Although her HIV condition was congenital, she was not diagnosed as HIV-positive with advancement to AIDS until age three. The prognosis was that she would not live past the age of five. Now at the age of 25, Broadbent spends her time spreading the message of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention by promoting abstinence, safe sex practices for people who chose to have sex and "Knowing Your HIV/AIDS Status." Remarks Broadbent, "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 don't practice abstinence or safe sex. I ask people to use my testimony as a warning of what you don't want to go through."
Today, Broadbent is a distinguished international public speaker and HIV/AIDS activist with a mission to educate women of all ages, especially young girls of the 13 to 21 age range. She has an innate ability to bond with any audience. When addressing the public about the issues of HIV/AIDS, her primary goal is to provide a clear understanding of how to avoid at-risk behaviors through self-examination and informed decision-making. She succinctly stated: "With all that we know about the virus, it is clear to me that contracting HIV/AIDS today is a choice and we CANNOT allow anyone the power to make that choice for us!"