56 Famous People with HIV People
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56 Famous People with HIV

This list of famous people with HIV is loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Human immunodeficiency virus, better known as HIV, is the virus that causes AIDS. The condition leads to the failure of the immune system allowing for other conditions like cancer and pneumonia to thrive. HIV is transferred through bodily fluids and infects vital T cells. Which celebrities have HIV?

Who is the most famous person with HIV? Freddy Mercury tops this list. The Queen front man denied that he had tested HIV positive for most of his life. He only confirmed that he had HIV, and that it had developed into AIDS, two days before his death in 1991. Other musicians who have suffered from HIV include jazz poet Gil Scott-Heron, rapper Eazy-E, and Creedence Clearwater Revival guitarist Tom Fogerty. There are many other rappers and stars with HIV that you might not know about.

Basketball legend Magic Johnson shocked the world when he announced that he had tested positive for HIV. Johnson has been on multiple medications to treat the virus and so far the former Laker has been able to prevent AIDS from developing. Other athletes who have HIV include Olympian Greg Louganis, tennis star Arthur Ashe, and football player Jerry Smith.

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  1. In 1991, Queen front man Freddie Mercury was the first major rock star to die from complications from AIDS. Only days before, he had released an international statement about his illness.

  2. Three-time Grand Slam winner Arthur Ashe contracted HIV from a blood transfusion. He died from AIDS-related pneumonia in 1993.

  3. Psycho star Anthony Perkins was very secretive about the fact that he had HIV. He died from complications with AIDS-related pneumonia in 1992.

  4. NBA superstar Magic Johnson announced that he was infected with HIV in 1991. Johnson takes a variety of medications daily to prevent his HIV from becoming full blown AIDS.

  5. The actor best known for playing Mike Brady on the "The Brady Bunch" was HIV positive.  Reed died due to colon cancer in 1992, but doctors believe that HIV also played into his death.

  6. Rock Hudson announced that he had AIDS in 1985. The actor died less than three months later.

  7. Trading Places actor Denholm Elliot was diagnosed with HIV in 1987. He died from AIDS-related tuberculosis in 1992.

  8. The Green Mile actor Michael Jeter died at age 50. He was diagnosed with HIV, but it is not thought that the disease was a factor in his death.

  9. "Dallas" actor Dack Rambo died due to complications with AIDS when he was 52.

  10. NWA rapper Eazy-E was diagnosed with AIDS when he went to the hospital to treat what he thought was asthma. He died from complications from AIDS less than a month later.

  11. Pianist Liberace publicly denied being gay throughout his lifetime. The showman died due to complications with AIDS in 1987.

  12. Gold medal winner Greg Louganis was diagnosed with HIV in 1988. 

  13. Jazz poet and influential artist Gil Scott-Heron disclosed that he was HIV positive in 2008. He died in 2011.

  14. Popular street artist Keith Haring died due to complications with AIDS in 1990.

  15. Creedence Clearwater Revival guitarist Tom Fogerty died from AIDS complications in 1990.  He contracted HIV from a blood transfusion.

  16. Broadway composer Jerry Herman was diagnosed with HIV in 1995. 

  17. Fashion designer Perry Ellis never talked about his illness in his lifetime. He died of viral encephalitis in 1985. Although Ellis never spoke publicly about his health, it is believed that his death was AIDS related.

  18. Studio 54 co-owner Steve Rubell learned that he had AIDS in 1985, and he died in 1989.

  19. Director Tony Richardson died from complications with AIDS in 1991.

  20. Styx bassist Chuck Panozzo announced in 2001 that he was gay and living with HIV.

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