Soul Survivor: Girl Had AIDS As A Baby And Is Still Going Strong At 29

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By Barry Burch Jr.

For many, what it feels like to live with AIDS is a mystery.  Oprah along with her viewers realized this truth 25 years ago as they listened to the story of one of the show’s most memorable guests.  The 11-year-old-girl named Hydeia Broadbent, with her thick braids, hoop nose ring and high-pitched voice captured the audience with her heartrending story.

In the 1996 interview, Broadbent explained what her life was like living with AIDS.  She had been born with the disease and was experiencing the symptoms of full blown AIDS as early as the age of five.

A young and brave Broadbent explained“I had had fungus in my brain, blood infections, pneumonia.  I went Code blue a couple of times.  And when I was 5, that’s when they said I had full blown AIDS.”

Though the attitude of Broadbent was strong and confident throughout the interview, when asked what the most difficult part of living with the disease was, Broadbent broke down.  “When your friends die,” she answered.  “That’s the hardest part because you love them and you always lose a friend to AIDS…a lot of my friends have died of AIDS.”

Broadbent was a total inspiration in that despite her hardships, she remained positive.  “If you stay in your bed and feel sorry for yourself…and say, ‘I’m going to die’ then why get up and try to make a difference?  But if you say, ‘Today’s another day.  I can get up, I can do something, you can make something positive,’” she explained to Oprah.

Today, Hydeia Broadbent, 29, is alive.  Her chances of making it to adulthood were slim, but she did it.  Broadbent recently reached out to OWN, as reported by Madame Noire, to give an update on her life, which will include the remainder of her childhood, some of the hardships she continues to deal with, being in a relationship with AIDS and what she is planning on doing next.

Barry is a student of life.  Other than writing, he enjoys arithmetic and politics.  Reach him @