“Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
For Queen front man, Freddie Mercury, HIV was very real. After living with the disease and it eventually progressing to AIDS, the British rocker succumbed to bronchopneumonia. The loss came on November 24, 1991, just a day after Mercury went public with the diagnosis of the disease.
Mercury was known, by the fans, for his wide vocal range and his flamboyant on-stage personality. Toward the end of his life, allegedly due to his diagnosis of the disease in 1987, Mercury shied away from the public eye he had so crazily embraced. Despite Mercury’s crazy lifestyle, his death still came as a shock to many.
“Oh my God. I’m devastated. It’s a huge shock,” said American singer, Cher, who’s backup dancer had died of AIDs the previous week. (source)
“This is a tragedy. I had the greatest admiration and a lot of affection for him,” said rock legend Phil Collins. (source)
Mercury Was Fearless
Mercury claimed he didn’t fear death because he’d “lived so well”. Mercury himself claimed he’d lived a promiscuous life but the diagnosis of HIV made him clean up his behavior.
“I was totally devastated when I heard about my friends who have died from AIDS, it brought the seriousness of the illness home to me. When you’re young it is so much harder. I was thinking the other day – We’re lucky we’ve sown our wild oats – but they are just starting. It is something the young have got to get to grips with.” (source)
Mercury hoped that telling the world of his illness would raise awareness inspire people to fight against HIV. His admission and death rocked everyone he touched, but his fearlessness was noted. Although he wished to continue on, his HIV progressed to AIDS. Just one day later he was gone.
Advancements for HIV
Since Mercury’s death, many advancements have been made in the fight against HIV. Celebs in the spotlight, such as Queen’s lead singer, have given a face to the disease and propelled new research and more awareness. Nowadays, if you test HIV positive, medications are available to lessen side effects and attempt to prevent it turning into AIDS. Just look at Magic Johnson for inspiration.
If there’s any chance you could be HIV positive, don’t wait to be tested. Rapid HIV results can be returned within 20 minutes.