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

May 15, 2013


Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson

Acclaimed actress and advocate Rosario Dawson is from New York City's Lower East Side and boasts Puerto Rican, Cuban, African American, Irish and Native American descent. Her film career began when she was cast off the street in the controversial 1995 indie film Kids. Dawson played libertine Ruby, a teenage girl with plenty of sexual experience who goes for an HIV test that comes back negative while her best friend, the more conservative Jenny (played by Chloë Sevigny), tests HIV positive.

Growing up, Dawson knew many people living with HIV/AIDS, most notably her mother's best friend, her "Uncle Frank." "I would share my food with Frank," Dawson recalls, "and he would just cry, 'My family and friends never do that with me, because they're afraid of being contaminated.' I was just 7 years old, and I knew I couldn't get AIDS that way." Dawson eventually ended up moving in with Frank and his partner Vincenzo.

Dawson had been working for HIV/AIDS awareness even before her work in the film adaptation of the Broadway musical Rent, in which she played Mimi Marquez, the heroine of the show, who is living with HIV. She has been involved with PSAs for Cable Positive, tweets about HIV on World AIDS Day, and is the spokesperson for Aldo Fights AIDS. Rosario is also involved with PFLAG's Stay Close organization, where she and Frank are co-spokespeople.

Source: Marie Claire

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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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