Hydeia Broadbent, prominent HIV/AIDS activist, passes away at 39

PALM SPRINGS, CA - FEBRUARY 11: Hydeia Broadbent at the 18th Annual Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards at the Palm Springs Convention Center on February 11, 2012 in Palm Springs, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/WireImage)

Hydeia Broadbent, a prominent HIV/AIDS activist, died at the age of 39, according to her family.

"With great sadness, I must inform you all that our beloved friend, mentor and daughter Hydeia, passed away today after living with Aids since birth," her father, Loren, posted on Facebook. "Despite facing numerous challenges throughout her life, Hydeia remained determined to spread hope and positivity through education around Hiv/AIDS."

Broadbent became a public figure after being featured on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "The Maury Povich Show," "Good Morning America" as well as other media programs and outlets. 

RELATED: Largest-ever COVID vaccine study links shot to small increase in heart, brain conditions

According to Broadbent's website, she was adopted by her parents after being abandoned at the University Medical Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas.

At three years old, she was diagnosed as HIV-positive with advancement to AIDS.

She then spent her life spreading the message of awareness and prevention of HIV/AIDS. She promoted abstinence and safe-sex practices.

"People think because I was born with HIV my story does not apply to them," Broadbent wrote on her website. "Well, this same disease I am living with is the same disease you can get if you are aware and informed. I use my testimony as a warning of what you don’t want to go through."

What is HIV/AIDS?

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. It weakens a person’s immune system by destroying important cells that fight disease and infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

RELATED: These simple activities are as effective as therapy for depression, study finds

If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).

Are HIV/AIDS cases on the rise?

HIV cases have been on the decline in recent years, largely driven by fewer cases among young people, a report from the CDC found in 2023. 

This decline was primarily seen in gay and bisexual males, which make up 80% of the HIV infections in that age range, the CDC noted. That group marked 4,900 infections in 2021, down from 7,400 in 2017.

FOX News contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.