From Loop21–Though December 1 is set aside to celebrate medical breakthroughs and to honor those living with the HIV infection, World AIDS Day comes only once a year. Fortunately, the efforts of activists like Hydeia Broadbent never end. Introduced globally at the 1996 Republican National Convention when she was just 12 years old, she announced in a speech that made headlines: “I am the future, and I have AIDS.”
Now 27 years old, Broadbent contracted the disease in utero and has been working tirelessly to educate others on the infection’s impacts and prevention. The work is hard, especially as every nine-and-a-half minutes another person is infected with HIV, and almost 50% of new cases in the U.S. being African American. Though she describes herself as old-fashioned and newly single (“It’s hard to date, what with being a woman and having standards,” she says) and a person who hasn’t ventured into the growing world of online dating sites for HIV-positive people, she does hold a number of very modern views that we could all learn from. Here Broadbent discusses with Loop 21 what we still need to know when dating in the days of HIV and AIDS.