Many of these celebrities helped to raise awareness of HIV internationally
The AIDS virus, HIV, has been (and in many places still is) a taboo subject. However, there have been many celebrities who have died from this disease. In some cases, the cause of death was known after death, but others used their fame to make visible a problem that affects millions of people around the world.
The singer of the group «Queen», Freddie Mercury, revealed at the end of 1991 that he was a carrier of HIV, after having tried to keep him out of public opinion. The media had been speculating for some time about what happened to the singer who unfortunately died the day after confessing his illness.
Rock Hudson was one of the stars of the golden age of Hollywood that dazzled the entire world. However the artist hid for years a secret that weighed behind his back. In 1985, due to his visible physical deterioration, he ended up confirming that he suffered from AIDS and that he was homosexual. Hudson thus became the first celebrity to openly acknowledge having this disease. The actor died that same year.
The protagonist of the well-known film «Psycho», Anthony Perkinswas always very jealous of his privacy and tried to keep his private life away from the spotlight. However, in 1992, a few days before his death, he issued a statement written by himself in which he announced his illness. Accompanied by his family, Perkins died at the age of 60.
Gia Carangi was a famous American model in the 1980s who contracted the HIV virus at age 26. Fame caused havoc in his life, which was quickly eclipsed by drugs and parties. In 1984 she was diagnosed and thus became one of the first women to manifest AIDS, as this was a much more common disease in men. He died shortly after knowing his illness.
Brad Davis , star of the film “The Midnight Express” maintained his illness in secret for many years, although he was diagnosed in 1985. Finally the actor asked for assisted suicide in 1991, when he was 41 years old, due to the ravages of the illness.
Arthur Ashe was the first and African-American tennis player to win the Wimbledon tournament. In 1992 he publicly acknowledged his illness and explained that he contracted it during a heart surgery that was performed in 1983. However, the virus took a while to manifest. He died just a year later.
Tina Chow contracted the HIV virus in the 1980s and finally died in 1992, when she was 41 years old.
Jaime Gil de Biedma
Jaime Gil de Biedma is considered one of the most important Spanish poets of the second half of the 20th century. He contracted the disease in 1985 and died five years later. It helped to make the disease visible in Spain, where there were hardly any cases known.
Hector Lavoe also became infected with HIV in the 80s. In his case, this was motivated by sharing needles to inject drugs with carriers. He was an icon of Latin music in the United States and finally died at age 46 because of the disease.
Michael Foucault , of French origin, was a philosopher, historian psychologist and social theorist who died in 1984 because of this disease. However, rumors of the cause of his death came to light after his death.