AIDS Activist Sean Sasser 44 Has Died

Image via Twitter

Image via Twitter

AIDS activist and MTV star Sean Sasser 44, has died. Sasser‘s on-screen marriage to Pedro Zamora shortly before Zamora’s death was one of the turning points in the visibility of gay relationships and people living with HIV. On Tuesday night, Judd Winick, a friend of Zamora, announced Sasser’s death on Twitter, in a statement which read, “Our friend Sean Sasser has died. Our love goes out to his family & husband Michael. We will miss u so much.”

Sasser reportedly died of mesothelioma, a rare lung cancer that is known for weakening the immune system in some people who are living with AIDS. Sasser, who was a cast member on MTV’s The Real World, did not live a public life after the show, but always made an impact in his short appearances in front of the cameras. Sasser gave a face to both HIV and homosexuals and educated millions of young Americans on the topics, even before Ellen or Will & Grace showcased gay people on TV, and before HIV became a manageable disease. [TR]

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