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 more than 20 years later, Broadbent spends her time spreading the message of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention by promoting abstinence and safe-sex practices (for people who choose to have sex
As an early recipient of anti-viral treatments that made AIDS a livable disease, she could have used her platform to emphasize the positives of HIV when coupled with modern medicine. She could have chosen to give HIV/AIDS patients hope and the promise of beating the odds.
Not Hydeia. She doesn’t sugar coat the consequences of the disease even when drugs promise a long and somewhat productive life. “There are days when I can’t get out of bed. Sometimes I am so sick my mornings are spent with my head hung over the toilet.”
Every morning she takes her cocktail of five pills. Hydeia’s medicine costs $3,500 to $5,000 a month.
“There’s so much misinformation. People think there’s a cure…but there is no cure.” A positive test result is no longer a death sentence, says Hydeia, “but it is a life sentence.”
“It’s always there. You’re always going to have HIV or AIDS. You’re always going to be taking medicine. You’re always going to be going to the doctor’s office. You’re always going to be getting your blood drawn.”
Tell that to the millions who can’t fathom contracting HIV/AIDS (or any other STD for that matter.) “Hooking Up” is as common in today’s loose society as chopping wood was for my grandparent’s.
Legislators are outlawing anything and everything so that our society is safe. The food we eat has to pass strict inspection. The vehicles we drive, the toys our children play with, the fabric used to make our children’s clothing, roadways, walkways, speed limits…We have legislation in place to protect and defend just about everything.
And yet there are tens of thousands across the globe being exposed to a disease that is more threatening and costly than society will openly and publicly admit. Where is the outcry? The target audience seems to be oblivious to the “Russian Roulette” they are playing.
We need more Hydeia Broadbents educating and laying out the cold hard facts about a disease that can and should be contained and eradicated…Not with condoms. Condoms have proven to be bogus protection. It can only be eradicated with a value system that teaches self-control and even self-denial…something almost unheard of in today’s society.
Despite the harsh realities of HIV/AIDS and the supposed public awareness, the National Center for Health Statistics, show that in the United States, “for all races combined in the age group 15-24 years, HIV/AIDS moved from the 12th leading cause of death in 2009 to the 11th cause of death in 2010.” It was the 7th leading cause of death in 2010 for the age group 25-44 years.” Where is the outcry? This is the elephant in the room that is destroying lives, and yet the target audience seems oblivious to the destruction. They continue to play with a fire that doesn’t just burn, it consumes. Would it be taboo to legislate activity so intimate? Apparently so.
Parents and grandparents, and the Hydeia Broadbents of the world, it is up to us to educate and raise the warning voice that will save lives in this promiscuous society where “if it feels good…” is accepted without thought of consequence or outcome.