Although Charlie Sheen announced on Tuesday that he is HIV positive, he is hardly the first celebrity to be HIV positive or to have AIDS. Let’s take a look at other celebrities, both past and present, who have also struggled with this disease.
- Rock Hudson: The gay leading man, was the first major celebrity to die of an AIDS related illness.
- Freddie Mercury: In 1991 the gay Queen singer announced that he had AIDS and shortly thereafter, he passed away from the disease.
- Magic Johnson: The basketball star retired from the sport in 1991 after confirming that he had contracted HIV; he has, since then, focused his attention on advocating for those infected with HIV and AIDS.
- Robert Reed: The father from The Brady Bunch was a closeted gay man whose HIV-positive status was not public but contributed to his death in 1992.
- Pedro Zamora: The MTV cast member on Real World’s San Francisco season documented his struggle with HIV and AIDS on the reality television show. Through his advocacy work, he educated countless teens and young adults on the disease, and he passed away from it in 1994.
- Greg Louganis: The Olympian admitted that he was HIV-positive and homosexual in his 1995 autobiography, Breaking the Waves.
- Liberace: While he attempted to keep his homosexuality and his disease a secret, he died in 1987 from AIDS-related complications.