15 Celebs Who Lost Their Lives to HIV/Aids
It was HIV/AIDS Aging Awareness Day on September 18, but that doesn’t mean we should just forget about people affected by the HIV/AIDS after that day passed. According to AOL, the AIDS Institute launched the day to focus on people who grow older during their treatments. The CDC states that over a million people in the United States are living with HIV infection. So far, about 660,000 people have with an AIDS diagnosis have died overall in the U.S. There is hope in the HIV-prevention program called pre-exposure prophylaxis. SFist just reported that a three-year study showed that people using this program had no new HIV infections. Here are some of the celebs who lost their lives to HIV/AIDS.
A lot of people love that song “Bohemian Rhapsody” and the fact that the lead singer of Queen was so iconic. Freddie Mercury was HIV-positive when he died of AIDS. According to Crave Online, there was a documentary made about Mercury called “Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender.” The New York Times said that Mercury died at his home in Kensington at the age of 45. His death involved bronchopneumonia. Before he died, Mercury called on his fans to join the fight against AIDS.
According to Fusion, a member of N.W.A. named Eazy-E died of AIDS in 1995. Then in an interview with VLADTV, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony revealed how they were convinced that he did not die from AIDS. Wi$h Bone said, “Even to this day, none of his kids, none of his kids, none of his baby mamas, mistresses, nobody has came up with HIV or nothing like that. So just rationally thinking, something had to go on.”
Gia Carangi was a famous supermodel according to Independent. Things went bad in her life and her family pressured her to enter a rehab program. She left treatment six months later and went back to being addicted to heroin. She soon found herself hospitalized. Blood tests showed that she had HIV related complex which was a precursor to AIDS. Papermag made a list that included the movie based on Carangi’s life called “Gia” starring Angelina Jolie.
Keith Haring was a famous artist in the 1980s. A writer named Andrew Yarrow wrote an obituary for Haring in the New York Times, saying he died of AIDS in his Manhattan home. You know his art when you see it. There are barking dogs and dancing figures in a colorful style. Haring was also quoted as saying, “I could earn more money if I just painted a few things and jacked up the price. My shop is an extension of what I was doing in the subway stations, breaking down the barriers between high and low art.”
Have you heard of the Creedence Clearwater Revival? Well one of the members was named Tom Fogerty and he reached 78th place on the Billboard hot 200 chart with his solo album in 1971. His Wikipedia states that he began singing rock and roll in high school and his band was called the Spider Webb and the Insects. Fogerty died in Arizona of AIDS after contracting HIV from blood transfusions for back ailments.
Steve Rubell died of AIDS complications. Rubell opened some steak restaurants in New York and Connecticut after he returned from the National Guard, according to his Wikipedia page. Then he helped open a club called Studio 54 in the old CBS studio on West 54th Street. The club made $7 million during its first year in 1977. That’s the equivalent of making over $29 million in 2015!!!! Rubell’s official cause of death was listed as hepatitis and septic shock complicated by AIDS.
This might be one of the most inspiring stories about a freelance journalist ever. The New York Times reported that Lance Loud was the eldest son of a reality television family in a 1973 documentary called “An American Family.” Loud was a freelance journalist and the leader of a New York rock band in the 70s. Loud came out on national television and even showed his mother to drag queens and hustlers. He died at the age of 50 from liver failure caused by Hepatitis C and HIV.
Peter Allen was an Oscar-winning songwriter who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1984, according to the New York Times. Apparently, his father was an abusive alcoholic and Allen dropped out of school to support his family in Australia. Judy Garland discovered him in 1964 at the Hong Kong Hilton. He won the Academy Award for the theme music to the 1981 film “Arthur.” Allen divorced Liza Minnelli in 1974 and then took the model Gregory Connell as a partner.
Brad Davis was an actor in the movie “Midnight Express.” According to the LA Times, Davis wanted to write a book about having HIV. He said, “The purpose of this book is to reveal what it’s like to be infected with HIV, to be receiving treatment, and having to remain anonymous at all costs – chronicling how I have done this for over six years. This may not be such a novel premise. Nobody wants to walk down the street with a sign saying ‘AIDS’ pinned to his or her shirt.” An announcement said he died of AIDS.
Klaus Sperber was a celebrity who was born in Germany. Open Culture says that he changed his name to Klaus Nomi in the 70s and his musical career started when he was discovered by David Bowie. He was diagnosed with AIDS and later died in 1983 at the age of 39. Nomi combined opera and New Wave pop music and had retro futuristic science fiction style shows. His last performance was a European concert tour and he sang an aria from Henry Purcell’s 1961 opera “King Arthur or, The British Worthy.”
Derek Jarman directed a movie with Tilda Swinton in it. Swinton was the witch in those “Narnia” movies among other roles. According to Queer Cultural Center, Jarman died at the age of 52 from AIDS complications. During his life, he told the public about his HIV infection and included themes of AIDS into his work like the movies “The Garden” and “Blue.” He described himself as one of the last people to remember “the countryside before mechanization intervened and destroyed everything.”
There was controversy surrounding the death of the Soviet-born dancer Rudolf Nureyev. According to Virus Myth, Nureyev died in 1993 and his doctor Michel Canesi told the media that he died of a cardiac complication. He refused to say anything else. The rumors state that friends of Nureyev said he had AIDS. In an interview with a French newspaper called Le Figaro, Dr. Canesi said Nureyev died of AIDS. The mystery was solved.
Amanda Blake was on the television show “Gunsmoke.” People reported that she died at the age of 60 and she did not die of oral cancer as originally claimed. She was the first Hollywood actress to die of AIDS. Her doctor was named Lou Nishimura and said, “Technically she died of liver failure brought on by viral hepatitis, which was AIDS-related. Once she knew she had it, she decided to keep it to herself.”
The show “The Brady Bunch” was about as squeaky clean of an American family as you could get. There was Marcia with her football nose incident and Cindy with her lisp. Then there was the father played by Robert Reed who was HIV positive when he died in 1992, according to Huffington Post. Reed never came out as gay. Doctors believed that his HIV status made his death come quicker. Christopher Knight was another actor on the show who thought he was a good father figure.
Pedro Zamora died from AIDS-related complications 21 years ago. Zamora was on “Real World: San Francisco” and MTV released a statement last year about him. “With Pedro, we brought an openly gay, HIV-positive man into households across America – something that had never been done before. When we cast Pedro, we knew he was someone special, but we had no idea the impact he would have on our society, our culture and putting a face on AIDS,” said MTV.