At 28, Hydeia Broadbent is looking forward to a life that includes a husband, children, career, a normal life . . . in fact, a future. But that was not the case 23 years ago, when the young woman was abandoned as an infant and diagnosed as HIV-positive. She was not expected to live past age 5.

But that is no longer Broadbent’s reality, and that is one of the things she told the young people at a summit held last week at the California African American Museum’s Youth Voices program. Called the E.R.A.S.E. (Empowering and Reinforcing Awareness of Students through Education) HIV Youth Summit. The event was produced in conjunction with the Magic Johnson Foundation and featured Broadbent talking to more than 50 high-schoolers about HIV/AIDS.

Broadbent said what surprised her most is how little the young people actually know about AIDS and contracting other sexually transmitted diseases.

“They know so much about sex, but don’t really know a lot about STDs. Their biggest concern is making sure they don’t get pregnant. They are not educated on how to protect themselves from contracting HIV/AIDS, AIDS and any STD,” said the young AIDS activist.

“I don’t believe this was an accident that I was born with HIV. . . It happened for a reason,” says Broadbent, who is trying to fill in the blanks left by parents and schools that are not educating young people about sexual health risks.

Her mission is to speak out and share her experiences in an effort to prevent the spread of the disease.

“I just want people to stop and think about their actions. . . . HIV can happen to anyone at any time, if they are not safe about things. AIDS does not discriminate.”

Another reality that Broadbent shares with young people, is that living with HIV/AIDS is not as easy as she or Magic Johnson make it appear, particularly with the cost of the medicines and the side effects. Nor can you tell that someone has the disease just by looking at them.

Those are some of the things that really shock the young people, she finds.

Broadbent herself, sounding and looking not much older than the youth she was talking to, is not shocked. In fact, there is a sense of joy you can hear in her voice because she now has the luxury of planning a future that will include starting her own foundation to educate as many people in the community as possible on disease prevention and awareness; owning a couple of businesses; producing a television show for youth on HIV; writing her memoirs; getting married at some point; buying a home and just being “normal.”

Meanwhile, as a prelude to her own future, Broadbent is working with the Magic Johnson Foundation, which will move the summit to Atlanta. She also has a website that she updates to let people know what she is doing, http://hydeiabroadbent.com.