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Viva Mi Gente!: 12 Latino Celebrities and Characters Who Thrust HIV/AIDS Into Popular Culture

May 15, 2013


Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez

Rosie Perez is a Puerto Rican-American Academy Award- and Emmy-nominated actress, choreographer, dancer, director and activist. She grew up in the Bushwick area of Brooklyn. She started her career in the late 1980s as a dancer and choreographer for the music videos of Janet Jackson, Bobby Brown, Diana Ross and LL Cool J. She also choreographed the Fly Girls (including a pre-fame Jennifer Lopez) on the Fox TV comedy show In Living Color, for which she received multiple Emmy nominations. She was discovered by Spike Lee in a dance club, and he cast her in an acting role in Do the Right Thing in 1988, and five years later, in 1993, she received an Oscar nomination for the movie Fearless.

Perez is an outspoken HIV activist, as well. She starred in and directed the Spanish-language AIDS PSA campaign "Join the Fight" for Cable Positive, which featured the actors Wilmer Valderrama, Erick Elias, Lorena Rojas and Miss Universe Zuleyka Rivera. President Barack Obama appointed Perez to the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA), and she was sworn in on Feb. 2, 2010. She moderated chats around World AIDS Day at the White House and often tweets advocacy messages from her Twitter account @rosieperezbklyn.

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Yaeger Fri., Jul. 31, 2015 at 12:11 am UTC
Oh my how things have really changed, that it has become almost fashionable to be hiv positive. I remember when the disease first came to be, and where I was when I heard about this unknown disease, where it seemed that many people were dying around me.Was I scared of course who was not. But as some people I knew were passing over with this disease I still went to see them in the hospitals as often as I could. I think they really appreciated that about me, that fear never stopped me from going to see my friends, and associates on the bus. Therefore, I treated them the way I would have wanted to have been treated. But I really thought by now there would be a cure for the disease.
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Comment by: Anonymous Sat., Jul. 11, 2015 at 8:19 am UTC
Hola me hize la prueba hace dos crmanas pero me comenzo el sangrado despues paro y ahora otra ves tengo un poco de dolor en la caders y un poco enfrente y me hago la prueba muchas veces mas y sale positiva no se que hacer
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Comment by: Miguel (El Centro Ca,) Sat., Jul. 12, 2014 at 10:57 am UTC
I am 52 years old and want to find a woman who is HIV positive. Recommend places to contact me. Thank you
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Comment by: OhioMan (Alliance, Ohio) Wed., Jun. 19, 2013 at 11:20 am UTC
I recall Pedro quite well...I was living in Los Angeles at the time and HIV was so new and scary. Pedro was an Idol to us all and helped to explain this horrible illness...Thanks Pedro..
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Comment by: Marta L. (richmond va) Sun., May. 26, 2013 at 12:23 am UTC
my soul can take it it is my body that fails me some times I am 63 years old and hope to live some more don't know how many more. I fell very happy and some times so sad is all part of the prossees . learn to take it one day at a time.
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