Today being World AIDS Day is a good time to talk about other celebrities who also suffered from the deadly incurable disease.
There have been many celebrities who have lived with the deadly disease, and come out in the open to reduce the stigma associated with the illness. Here is a list of celebrities who were affected by AIDS.
- Isaac Asimov:
Isaac Asimov is considered one of the greatest science fiction writers on earth. Asimov was an American author, who also worked as a professor of biochemistry at Boston University. Asimov was a pioneer of science fiction and a literal Sachin Tendulkar of literature. He is credit with having written/edited more than 500 books and over 90,000 letters.
Asimov died in 1992 in New York, and initially it was claimed that he died of organ failure. However, ten years later, his widow decided to make it public that the writer was HIV positive, having acquired it during a blood transfusion.
- Magic Johnson:
Magic Johnson played 13 years for LA Lakers in the NBA league. He is considered an all time great in the NBA, and while his career with the LA Lakers was its peak, Magic Johnson announced his retirement, revealing that he had contracted the HIV virus.
Since then, Johnson has made two comebacks to the game, and retired again. He has been an advocate for HIV awareness, contributing greatly towards his cause. He has survived more than 20 years with the disease, and continues to be an inspiration towards the cause.
- Charlie Sheen:
Probably the most famous person on the list, Charlie Sheen has been on the list of highest paid actors for the last few years. He was paid close to 2 million dollars for his role in Two and a Half Men. While he has had public fallouts with his producers, drug and alcohol issues, the star recently announced that he is indeed HIV positive, and that he has been taking medication for the illness.
He also announced that he had been paying off people close to a million dollars a year just to buy their silence on the issue. The actor announced that he was relieved that he was coming out in the open about the issue.
- Freddie Mercury:
Still considered the greatest vocalist in rock and roll history, Freddie Mercury was the lead singer of the band Queen. With a vocal range that could shake entire stadiums, Freddie Mercury is best remembered for making an audience of 80,000 dance on their toes during the Live Aid concert in 1985.
In his personal life, the singer was gay and while some sick people criticized him for his choice, the singer died in 1991 of complications arising from AIDS. The singer was only 45, and most people say that if he was alive today, there wouldn’t have been a singer who could have matched up to his talent.
- Arthur Ashe:
Arthur Ashe was a legendary tennis player from the USA. He remains the only black player to ever win the Wimbledon singles tournament, having also won the US Open and Australian Open as well.
Arthus Ashe contracted HIV during a heart surgery, in a case of blood transfusion gone wrong. He set up the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS, and used his celebrity status to spread greater awareness about the illness among the public.
- Rock Hudson:
In a Hollywood career spanning four decades, 70 films, and numerous television productions, Rock Hudson was one of the biggest stars of Hollywood in the 70s and 80s.
The actor was rumoured to be homosexual, and this was somewhat of a known secret among journalists and colleagues in the entertainment industry. Rock Hudson showed up for a television shoot very frail, and his speech began to slur. While the hospital where he was admitted denied that he had AIDS, and was being ‘checked for everything’, it was revealed that Rock Hudson had been diagnosed for AIDS in the year 1984.
Hudson was the first major celebrity to die of AIDS, and it drew worldwide attention to the disease.