Celebrities who Battled HIV / AIDS

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For decades, the battle has raged against the sexually transmitted disease that has claimed the most lives around the world. HIV/AIDS, baptized in the eighties as "cancer of gays", is a disease well known to the LGBT community because many of its members have lost the battle. It’s a virus that attacks without discrimination nor social status. So many celebrities lost the fight against HIV / AIDS and here are a few who we’d like to honor. 


Freddie Mercury

The legendary leader and vocalist of the band, Queen, was one of the most famous people who lost the fight against HIV/AIDS in the early 90’s. Just one day after he announced publicly that he had the virus, Freddie Mercury passed, leaving a musical legacy, that to date, has not been matched. Remembered as one of the most prodigious voices in music, Freddy Mercury passed in November of 1991.



Wladziu Valentino Liberace, known in the artistic world simply as Liberace, was an eccentric pianist and performer. The polished American showman of Italian descent is one of the many celebrities who lost the fight against HIV / AIDS. His life was surrounded by speculation as well as his sexuality. Liberace, the pianist with millions of fans worldwide, passed away on February 4, 1987 at 67 years of age due to "cytomegalovirus pneumonia" which was developed as a result of HIV/AIDS.


Anthony Perkins

The protagonist of the well-known film, Psycho, by Hollywood filmmaker, Alfred Hitchcock, joins the list of celebrities who lost the battle against HIV / AIDS. This was the same actor who was given the task of writing the statement in which he would declare that he was HIV positive. Anthony Perkins was brave before his illness but a few days after publicly announcing his illness, he died surrounded by close family on September 12, 1992.


Rock Hudson

Rock Hudson is probably the first famous person to declare openly that he had contracted the virus. In addition to being remembered for his great acting talent, Rock Hudson was a pioneer for the community and courageous in accepting his health condition. Being one of the celebrities who lost the fight against HIV-AIDS, Rock Hudson, recognized in Hollywood and nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor, died just one year after learning that he was a carrier of HIV/AIDS.

To all of those who have struggled and continue to struggle with this virus – be it first-hand or with a friend or loved one – our hearts go out to you. Let’s join together December 1 for World AIDS Day and spread the word and make a difference. 


Photo: La Tercera