International HIV/AIDS activist and humanitarian Hydeia Broadbent will be the featured speaker at The University of Toledo Medical Center’s National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event Saturday, Feb. 8.
The free, public program will begin at 4 p.m. in Collier Building Room 1000 A and B on Health Science Campus.As part of the first generation of children born HIV-positive, Broadbent was diagnosed with AIDS at age 3. The prognosis was that she wouldn’t live past age 5.
Broadbent began her work as an HIV/AIDS activist and public speaker when she was 6 years old. By 12, she had appeared on national television programs, including “Oprah,” “20/20,” “Good Morning America” and “A Conversation With Magic Johnson.”
Now, at age 34, Broadbent is a distinguished motivational speaker and activist who shares her message of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention to audiences of all ages. Her mission is to encourage avoiding at-risk behaviors through self-examination and informed decision-making. She promotes abstinence, safe-sex practices, and HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
“With all that we know about the virus, it is clear to me that contracting HIV/AIDS today is a choice, and we can’t allow anyone the power to make that choice for us,” Broadbent said.
“National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day annually promotes HIV education, testing, community involvement and treatment in communities of color, specifically targeting black communities,” said Richard Meeker, manager of community engagement and development for the UTMC Ryan White Program.
As of Dec. 31, 2017, there were 1,014 persons living with HIV/AIDS in Lucas County, according to the Ohio Department of Health. In Lucas County, approximately 42% of persons living with HIV/AIDS are white not Hispanic; 49% are African American; 6% are Hispanic/Latinx; 2% are Multi-Race; and 1% are Asian/Pacific Islander. Lucas County is approximately 74% white, 20% African American, 7% Hispanic/Latinx, 1.8% Asian, and 3.2% two or more races.
The Ryan White Program serves more than 1,000 clients annually. In 2019, the program provided more than 16,000 services, which included medical visits, medical case management, non-medical case management, support and additional services.
The National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day event is supported by the Ann Wayson Locher Memorial Fund for HIV Care in partnership with The University of Toledo Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
Visit the Ryan White Center’s website for more information.