Disability, People Facing Barriers

Celebrating the Life of Hydeia Loren Broadbent, HIV/AIDS Activist

March 8, 2024 • By and

Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Last Updated: March 9, 2024

Photo of Hydeia Loren Broadbent“AIDS is something that happened to me but does not define who I am as a person.”

To commemorate Women’s History Month and National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on March 10th, we honor the life and legacy of activist Hydeia Loren Broadbent, who died on February 20, 2024. Diagnosed with HIV at the age of three, Broadbent spent much of her life in the public eye advocating for individuals with HIV and AIDS.

Born in the early days of the epidemic, when infection meant almost certain death, Broadbent helped raise awareness and shaped the global response by speaking about her experience and the realities of living with HIV and AIDS. She once remarked:

“We have to make sure that people are aware the medicines do cost money—that you do have to get help with insurance… We still need to let people know that there’s no cure. Some people don’t understand the medical regimen of someone living with HIV or AIDS. It is not just about popping one pill a day.”

Broadbent’s advocacy had an immeasurable impact on the estimated 1.2 million people in the United States (CDC) and roughly 40 million people in the world living with HIV or AIDS (KFF). Her bravery and passion remain an inspiration, and we are grateful for her dedication to educating the world about HIV and AIDS.

Photo of Hydeia Loren Broadbent, HIV/AIDS Activist as a child

Over the years, Social Security has continued to update its programs and policies to better serve people living with HIV and AIDS. In 1983, we expanded our disability benefits program to help support people with AIDS, and in 1993, we developed medical criteria for evaluating HIV infection.  We have also worked with the medical and advocacy communities to recognize advances in treatment, and in 2017, we updated our criteria to reflect these changes.

To learn about how to get help from us, visit our website. Most of our services are available to the public online and with a secure my Social Security account, or by telephone. Most services do not require the public to take time to visit an office. People may create their personal my Social Security account on our website.

To learn more, please visit our Online Services page. Many Social Security services are also conveniently available by dialing toll-free, 1‑800‑772‑1213. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call Social Security’s TTY number, 1‑800‑325‑0778.

Did you find this Information helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Tags: , , , ,

See Comments

About the Author


Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment.

  1. Mark

    What does any of this have to do with Social Security

  2. Katie H.

    As AGREED by the social security administration, the Courts and Congress, when will the SSA start REMOVING AND CLEARING THE 2020 Overpayment Payment Center Cases? Please start removing and CLEARING THE NON RECIPIENTS first please.

  3. IKBAL

    Her passing was affirmed by her commercial operator, Lori Deal, who called Apfel “uncommon.” No cause of passing was given. It was moreover declared on her confirmed Instagram page on Friday, which a day prior had celebrated that Jump Day spoken to her 102nd-and-a-half birthday. Iris Apfel dies – at 102, She was a design symbol known for her eye-catching fashion.

  4. Ruby J.

    I was diagnosed in 2003 through Gods help I feel amazing. I do know and understand the struggles. I really appreciate her for being out there in the public. I appreciate you in so many ways I just can’t explain. Thank you for your strength. I’ve found a Great Dr. and she keeps me straight. 😊 We need more powerful people.

  5. JOHN L.

    Social Security punishes us by allowing illegals to receive more money than we who have paid into the Social Security Fund.

    • Dan O.


    • Ja

      Liar! Liar!
      Pants on fire!!

      • Foukrache Y.

        I find a work help me ?

    • Kristi M.

      You are so right. I worked but got hurt at 33 before I could get full amount. Then I got sick and unable to get back to work. I get less than a thousand dollars a month while they get almost twice or more. They also get the SSI benefits that you don’t even have to have ever worked to receive. Nancy Pelosi “borrowed” trillions from our money and hasn’t paid it back then calls SS a privilege and that we are a drain on our own money.

      • Safeatlast

        How did you find out that illegals receive so much in benefits?

    • JaneL.

      SS also punishes for becoming disabled at 62
      & being the wife of a career military Man. Refuses your disability. Then one has to accept SS before reaching 65, then the payment is nearly cut in half.

  6. Vernelle B.

    Great story!!

    • Ronna D.

      Thanks for sharing and for her bravery

  7. BJ

    She was a shining example to all women. May her soul rest in peace.

  8. Audrey T.

    Hydeia is a hero for the ages. She persisted in the midst of organizational constraints; societal misunderstandings; imperfect treatment regimes.
    I am encouraged that the Social Security Administration has assumed the mantle of sharing the life lessons of Hydeia. In the current world of partisanship, we need the SSA to provide the universality of human caring to mitigate the stark reality of bureaucratic functioning (which can have the guise of brutality).

  9. vickie c.

    I do remember the early days of learning abt AIDS HIV. i found it sad that children were recipients of this horrible disease. it was a very scary time for many people. i had surgery then and was concerned about catching AIDS so i told the surgical people to not use any blood components to save my life. they complied but i had hemoraged at the time and could have used blood. however because of my request it wasnt used. so many people died. im glad that medicine was discovered that would help those who were inflicted with this disease and for this young lady who advocated for those who had HIV AIDS. GOD BLESS YOU AND MANY OTHERS WHO WERE ADVOCATES FOR AIDS.


Leave a Comment

Please review our Comment Policy before leaving a comment. For your safety, please do not post Personally Identifiable Information (such as your Social Security Number, address, phone number, email address, bank account number, or birthdate) on our blog.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *