At birth, Hydeia 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 30, Broadbent spends her time spreading the message of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention by promoting abstinence, safe-sex practices (for people who choose to have sex) and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
“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 safe sex and know your HIV status and the HIV status of your sexual partner. I ask people to use my testimony as a warning of what you don’t want to go through,” Broadbent explains.
Broadbent began her debut as an HIV/AIDS activist and a public speaker at six years old. By 12 years old, Broadbent appeared on many national television programs including Oprah, 20/20, Good Morning America and “A Conversation with Magic Johnson” on Nickelodeon. She has been featured in prominent publications, including The New York Times, People, Teen People, Essence, Ebony and Sister 2 Sister. She also graced the cover of TV Guide in 2005. Broadbent has also taken part in many of America’s talk radio programs including “The Michael Eric Dyson Show,” “Russ Parr Morning Show” and “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” In 2014, the OWN Network (the Oprah Winfrey Network) featured Broadbent on “Oprah’s Where Are They Now” and to date Broadbent is one of the most requested update by fans.
Over the next 10 years, Broadbent has become a notable speaker and guest panelist at many of America’s most respected educational institutions including but not limited to Duke University, Spelman, UCLA, USC and Howard University.
Not since Ryan White has a young person spoke out—on an international level—so passionately about having the virus. Broadbent is one of few young activists to follow in his footsteps and speak out on an international level about being affected by the HIV/AIDS virus. Broadbent is also considered a pioneer as the first African-American youth to speak up and speak out about the epidemic. Ebony magazine named Broadbent one of the most Influential 150 African Americans in 2008 and 2011. Broadbent has also been honored with an American Red Cross Spirit Award and an Essence Award.
In 2011, Broadbent had the honor of being selected by TheGrio.com (a division of NBC News), TheRoot.com and Ebony magazine as one of today’s Top 100 African American History Makers or Power 100 for 2011.
In 2010, she was invited by the BET Networks Chairman/CEO Debra Lee to participate as a panelist in the First Annual Leading Women’s Defined Summit in Washington, DC. Broadbent also received an award for Health Education and Awareness from WEEN (Women in Entertainment Empowerment Network).
She has been a featured speaker for the International AIDS Conference in 2006. She also spoke at the 2007 Essence Music Festival as well as the 2007 AIDS Rally at the Potters House lead by Bishop TD Jakes in Dallas, Texas.
Today, Hydeia Broadbent is a distinguished international public speaker and HIV/AIDS activist with a mission to educate people of all ages. 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 states that “with all that we know about the virus, it is clear to me that contracting HIV/AIDS today is a choice and we can’t allow anyone the power to make that choice for us!”