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SHOCKING FACTS - Before Charlie Sheen, here are other celebrities whose HIV-positive diagnoses or contracting of AIDS shocked fans

As shocking as the news of Charlie Sheen 's announcement Tuesday that he is HIV-positive has been, it can't compare to the national jolt 30 years earlier when one of Hollywood's most famous leading men revealed that he was suffering from AIDS.

A lot has changed after Rock Hudson became the first celebrity to go public with the illness on July 25, 1985, at a time when many in the mainstream believed AIDS was only a problem for gay men, drug users and patients who received tainted blood transfusions.

Since the "Pillow Talk" star, who died in October of that year at the age of 59 of complications from the disease, bravely came forward, a succession of other celebrities have also gone public after being diagnosed as HIV-positive (the human immunodeficiency virus that can, but doesn’t necessarily, develop into AIDS):
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Before Charlie Sheen, here are other celebrities whose HIV-positive diagnoses or contracting of AIDS shocked fans
Magic Johnson: The Los Angeles Lakers star abruptly retired at the top of his game in 1991, announcing that he was HIV-positive. The now 56-year-old activist has rebounded nicely as a role model for others in similar condition, still going strong as an NBA analyst and showing that the diagnosis is not a death sentence.

Freddie Mercury: As the front man of the arena band, Queen, the British singer cultivated a larger than life persona. But his death on Nov. 21, 1991 of AIDS-related complications rocked his millions of fans, especially coming so soon after he publicly announced his condition.

Arthur Ashe: The legendary tennis star wasthe first black man to win in singles at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. The native New Yorker dominated tennis in the mid-1970s, before he contracted HIV through a blood transfusion during a heart bypass surgery. He became an HIV activist and made efforts to raise awareness before dying in Feb. 1993.

Eazy-E: "Boyz-n-the-Hood" may always be hard, as the N.W.A. co-founder once rapped, but the hip hop legend's bombshell announcement on March 17, 1995 that he was dying of AIDS proved that nobody is immune from the horrible disease. In his final days, the 31-year-old, whose real name was Eric Wright, wanted to be a cautionary tale.

"I'm not religious, but wrong or right, that's me," Wright said in a statement at the time. "I'm not saying this because I'm looking for a soft cushion wherever I'm heading. I just feel I've got thousands and thousands of young fans that have to learn about what's real when it comes to AIDS."

Greg Louganis: The Olympic champion dove into uncharted waters with the revelation in his 1996 autobiography, "Breaking the Waves," that was coming out both as a gay man and as an HIV-positive survivor. He has gone on to be a vocal activist for both LGBT community and in the fight against AIDS.

Jim J. Bullock: The star of "Too Close for Comfort" was first diagnosed as HIV-positive in 1985, during the height of the sitcom, but went public 11 years later. He's worked steadily since, most recently earlier this year with a guest appearance on the final season of "Glee."

Tommy Morrison: As a boxer, "The Duke" endured plenty of punishment in the ring, but that paled in comparison to the damage he did out of it after being diagnosed as HIV-positive. He admitted later in life to ignoring treatment long after his 1996 diagnosis, probably expediting his death on Sept. 1, 2013.

"I'll trust an attorney before I'll trust a doctor," Morrison once told ESPN's Tom Friend.

Michael Jeter: One of the most recognizable character actors of his era with a resume that boasts films like "The Green Mile," "The Fisher King," and "Miller's Crossing," Jeter's greatest role proved to be an off-screen activist. Six years before his death in 2003 at the age of 50, the actor went public and became a speaker about living with an HIV diagnosis. And just as importantly, he kept working on high profile movies such as "Jurassic Park 3."

Pedro Zamora: Though not as famous as Hudson or Magic, "The Real World" star may have done more to combat stereotypes than any other celebrity on this list. Before his Nov. 11, 1994 death at the too-young age of 22, the reality star gave MTV viewers a very human look at the reality of battling AIDS.

Andy Bell: Hitting a high note for others battling HIV, the Erasure singer came out publicly in 2004, six years after his diagnosis.

"Being HIV-positive does not mean that you have AIDS," Bell wrote on ErasureInfo.com. "My life expectancy should be the same as anyone else's, so there's no need to panic."

Isaac Asimov: The sci-fi icon contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during heart bypass surgery, though his widow didn't go public with the AIDS-related cause of his death until 10 years after Asimov passed away on April 6, 1992.

Liberace: The flamboyant showman went to his grave in 1987 attempting to keep secret both his sexuality and his battle with AIDS. While is personal doctors attributed his death to a cardiac arrest due to heart failure, a California coroner delivered the bombshell that the singer died of pneumonia-related complications from AIDS.
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