Rock Hudson was born in 1925. In the actor’s day, he was a leading man starring in a number of films opposite his good friend, Doris Day. The public admired him but was unaware of his personal life, which he kept secret. Only his closest friends knew he was homosexual, a secret he and his agent fought to under wraps for many years.
Revelation of Rock Hudson
In 1985, Doris Day returned to television with Doris Day’s Best Friends, a talk show dedicated to animals. She decided that her first guest would be her good friend Rock Hudson. When the actor arrived on set, he appeared to be sickly and frail. He never admitted to Day that he was suffering from AIDS. He died a few months later after his interview with Day, before the episode ever aired.
The AIDS Stigma
In the months, weeks, and days before Hudson died, he didn’t wish to admit he was suffering from AIDS. Hudson was ashamed of his ailment. He thought of himself as unclean and feared that AIDS would damage his reputation. He questioned why he ended up with the disease. He even warned his previous sexual partners that they might be inflicted with it as well. (source)
The same stigma that Rock feared still applies today. Many with and without the disease struggle to not view AIDS as a punishment or life-sentence. The key however is early detection and treatment. Modern medicine now includes rapid HIV tests that determine if you are HIV positive within 20 minutes. While going in for the test is scary, it can also save your life. There are many survivors of HIV out there who have received treatment that has prevented HIV from progressing into AIDS. Knowledge certainly is power when it comes to this STD.
If you’re looking for a place to get a rapid HIV test (where you don’t even need insurance), find your local ARCpoint Labs.