In case you didn’t know, HIV stands for “Human Immunodeficiency Virus” – the virus that causes AIDS.
This horrible condition eventually leads to deteriorating and failure of the immune system making room for other diseases and conditions (such as cancer or pneumonia) to thrive.
The HIV infects vital T cells and is transferred from person to person via bodily fluids.
In today’s day and age, there are many celebrities who had or have HIV.
Before we move onto our list of 3 most famous celebrities with HIV, let’s take a quick look at some of the honorable mentions:
- jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron
- 90’s rapper Eazy-E
- Actor Michael Jeter
- Creedence Clearwater Revival guitarist Tom Fogerty
- pianist Liberace
- Olympian Greg Louganis
- tennis star Arthur Ashe
- football player Jerry Smith
- singer Andy Bell
Two And A Half Men star, Charlie Sheen, came out with the big news about his HIV+ status back in 2015 during his interview on the Today Show. Of course, the famous Hollywood A-lister has been long-rumored to be HIV-positive, all due to all the gossip and much public speculation about his nasty and loose personal life.
Having turned into a guy who really doesn’t give a damn, Sheen has, since his big reveal, admitted to using numerous heavy and illegal drugs, while he was also quite open about engaging in high-risk sex with various celebrity and non-celebrity women.
Perhaps the most famous celebrity with HIV in the world of music, Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with HIV, but managed to keep his diagnosis a secret for years. One of the most talented musicians of the previous century and one of the most charismatic frontmans in the history of rock music, Freddie died of AIDS complications mere days after he went public with the news of him being HIV-positive.
The Los Angeles Times reported his official announcement shortly before his death:
“Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have tested HIV-positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private to date in order to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has now come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease.”
The lead singer of Queen died on November 24, 1991.
Basketball icon, Magic Johnson, was among the first A-list celebrities to come out as HIV-positive. The athlete revealed his health status officially in 1991. In a press conference held at the time, Johnson said the following:
“Because of the HIV virus I have attained, I will have to retire from the Lakers … I plan to go on living for a long time.”
And former basketball player indeed managed to live up to his plans. Magic Johnson is still providing regular sports commentary, while his own good will and his experiences with HIV resulted in him starting the Magic Johnson Foundation as an educational and preventive tool to prevent the spread of HIV.