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Fame and HIV: 21 of History's Biggest HIV-Positive Celebrities

November 17, 2015


Rock Hudson

Rock Hudson

One of the most beloved movie stars of the '50s and '60s, Rock Hudson's AIDS-related death in late 1985 was a shock to the world. In a move that is truly emblematic of the unparalleled stigma of HIV, his publicity team had covered up his illness by saying he had liver cancer.

Hudson's HIV disclosure just prior to his death brought forth the fact that this matinee idol, a leading man in numerous romantic comedies, was gay. For better or for worse, his death sparked a landslide of conversation in mainstream media about homosexuality and HIV.

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