34 Years Ago Today, Rock Hudson Announced He Had AIDS

The AIDS Memorial noted that today was the 34th anniversary of the day that actor Rock Hudson announced he had AIDS. The actor stunned the world and his fame brought the full force of the epidemic to the country so they could no longer look away.

On July 25, 1985, Rock Hudson, (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985), announced through a press release that he had AIDS and in doing so became the first major celebrity to go public with an AIDS diagnosis.

After collapsing in Paris that July, Hudson was diagnosed with AIDS and given treatment with the experimental drug HPA-23, which at the time was unavailable in the US. It was while he was in the hospital that it was announced to the public that he had AIDS.

Prior the the announcement, Hudson sought a bed at Ministere du la Defence Centre d’Researches du Service de Sante des Armees Percy Hospital in the city of Clamart – a hospital at the forefront of AIDS treatment. However, Commanding general of Percy Hospital turned down Hudson as a patient because he was not French.

Hudson’s publicist sent a telegram begging America’s First Lady Nancy Reagan (1921 – 2016) to intervene but she refused saying she didn’t want to be seen to help out friends.

French officials eventually helped Hudson get a bed at a military hospital but by then his illness had progressed too far and he couldn’t be helped.

AIDS activist @staleypr believed the excuse seemed ‘strange’, since the Reagans often did favours for their friends while in power saying — “I’m sure if it had been Bob Hope in that hospital with some rare, incurable cancer, Air Force One would have been dispatched to help save him.”

Hudson on October 2, 1985, died less than three months after the announcement, at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 59 years old.

That year, Hudson’s close friend @ElizabethTaylor (1932 –2011) helped found @amfar, and served as its founding international chairman.

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— On July 25, 1985, Rock Hudson, (November 17, 1925 – October 2, 1985), announced through a press release that he had AIDS and in doing so became the first major celebrity to go public with an AIDS diagnosis. . After collapsing in Paris that July, Hudson was diagnosed with AIDS and given treatment with the experimental drug HPA-23, which at the time was unavailable in the US. It was while he was in the hospital that it was announced to the public that he had AIDS. . Prior the the announcement, Hudson sought a bed at Ministere du la Defence Centre d’Researches du Service de Sante des Armees Percy Hospital in the city of Clamart – a hospital at the forefront of AIDS treatment. However, Commanding general of Percy Hospital turned down Hudson as a patient because he was not French. . Hudson’s publicist sent a telegram begging America’s First Lady Nancy Reagan (1921 – 2016) to intervene but she refused saying she didn’t want to be seen to help out friends. . French officials eventually helped Hudson get a bed at a military hospital but by then his illness had progressed too far and he couldn’t be helped. . AIDS activist @staleypr believed the excuse seemed ‘strange’, since the Reagans often did favours for their friends while in power saying — “I’m sure if it had been Bob Hope in that hospital with some rare, incurable cancer, Air Force One would have been dispatched to help save him.” . Hudson on October 2, 1985, died less than three months after the announcement, at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 59 years old. . That year, Hudson’s close friend @ElizabethTaylor (1932 –2011) helped found @amfar, and served as its founding international chairman. . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #neverforget #endaids

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