Celebrity News

Celebrities with HIV

Following the news that Charlie Sheen is set to announce he is HIV positive, we decided to take a look at other famous celebs with the diagnosis.
Freddie Mercury

In the wake of rumours that Charlie Sheen is set to confirm his own diagnosis, here is a list of many other high profile people who live with or had HIV, including former basketballer and businessman, Magic Johnson.

HIV is a manageable illness, with a long life expectancy for those who are able to access the right medication.

Queen frontman Freddy Mercury died of AIDS, as did Hollywood star Rock Hudson, but new medications have radically improved the outlook for carriers of HIV. Despite this, many carriers face discrimination.

HIV, which affects the immune system and can develop into AIDS if left untreated, is spread through the bodily fluid of infected people.

For more information on HIV in New Zealand, visit the New Zealand AIDS Foundation.

Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with HIV 1987 but kept the news private until 22 November 1991. On the evening on 24 November 1991, Mercury died at the age of 45 due to bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.

Studio 54 co-owner Steve Rubell was diagnosed in 1985. His condition later progressed to AIDS and he passed away from complications related to the illness at age 45.

Gia Carangi was a fashion model in the late 70s and early 80s who is thought to be one of the first famous women to be diagnosed with and die from HIV/AIDS.

American entertainer Liberace died aged 67 of pneumonia which was the result of HIV/AIDS.

Joely Richardson’s father Tony Richardson, who was best known for directing the film Tom Jones, died from HIV/AIDS in 1991.

Actor Rock Hudson was diagnosed with HIV in 1984 which he kept secret for over a year. Only months after details of his condition became public, Hudson passed away in his sleep aged 59, due to AIDS-related complications.

Grand slam winner Arthur Ashe who was diagnosed with HIV in 1992 founded the Arthur Ashe Foundation for the Defeat of AIDS before he passed away from pneumonia related to the disease in 1993.

Gene Anthony Ray who you’d recognise from both the film and television series Fame, found out he was HIV positive in 1996 and died in 2003 after suffering from a stroke.

Robert Reed who played the father in The Brady Bunch contracted HIV but it is unknown when he was diagnosed. Although he never developed AIDS, being HIV-positive contributed to him death. Reed was 59.

Holly Johnson of Frankie Goes to Hollywood learned he was HIV positive in 1991. He continues to perform as a solo musician.

American actor Anthony Perkins was best known for his role in the film Psycho. He was diagnosed with HIV during filming for Psycho III and died aged 60 from AIDS-related pneumonia.

Greg Louganis is an Olympic diver who tested positive for HIV in 1988. He is openly gay and told his story in his autobiography, Breaking the Surface.

Timothy Patrick Murphy was an American actor best known for his role in the soap opera Dallas. He died of AIDS aged 29.

Magic Johnson is a retired basketballer who founded the Magic Johnson Foundation to raise awareness and support sufferers after he himself was diagnosed in 1991.

Actor Danny Pintauro revealed to Oprah in 2015 that he has know he is HIV-positive since 2003.

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