In today's times, the deadliest disease to ever hit mankind is the said to be Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS. The causal agent of this fatal disease is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, or better known as HIV. This virus attacks the immune system of the body and gradually weakens it to the level that the body is unable to fight any form of infection.
It is important to understand that all HIV positive individuals may not be suffering from AIDS. It may take years for an HIV positive person to test positive for AIDS. Records show that in the year 2007 itself, 583,298 number of people succumbed to AIDS in the US and adjacent regions.
There have been some famous personalities who have been victims of this lethal disease. The author of more than 500 literary works, Isaac Asimov was born on January 2, 1920, in Petrovichi, Russia. Isaac was gifted with an incredible memory that was evident in the fact that he taught how to read much before his peers at school. The boy tried his luck at articulation at an age as early as 11 years. At this young age, the great novelist produced his first piece of writing in the form of a fiction novel. However, it was in 1939 that his work entitled 'Marooned Off Vesta' got published for the first time. Over the years, his works Nightfall; I, Robot; and the Foundation series helped him gain recognition. The author developed HIV infection, and finally breathed his last on April 6, 1992.
A man whose name shines amongst African American tennis players is Arthur Robert Ashe Jr. He was not only the first African American player from the junior circuit to obtain a ranking from the US Lawn Tennis Association, but was also a pioneer for being awarded a complete scholarship by the University of California. This fabulous player happens to be the only African American tennis player to have won the singles event at the Wimbledon, the US Open and the Australian Open. The famous player lost his life to AIDS on February 6, 1993.
The Hollywood star Rock Hudson's name stands out amid celebrities to have died of AIDS. Born as Roy Fitzgerald, acting was his childhood dream. This Hollywood sensation re-christened himself as Rock Hudson and took training in acting, singing, dancing and riding to make his dream come true. After his debutant role in the movie 'Fighter Squadron' in 1948, Hudson never looked back. In a time span of more than four decades, his career boasted of movies such as The Last Sunset, The Ambassador, Strange Bedfellows, Man's Favorite Sport and Send Me No Flowers. It was in 1984 when this talented artist was diagnosed with AIDS. The disease turned fatal within a year as Hudson expired on October 2, 1985.
Another famous personality, well known in the field of music was Freddie Mercury. A rock musician by profession, Mercury gained acclaim as the lead singer for Queen, which was a rock band from England. The artist was recognized for his allure during live performances. Owing to his education in India, most of his music had an Indian touch. Freddie Mercury contracted AIDS and finally succumbed to the disease on November 24, 1991 due to pneumonia which was a side effect of the disease.
Other famous people to have died of AIDS are Leigh Bowery, Merritt Butrick, Michael Callen, Steve Rubell and Néstor Almendros.