Pedro Zamora was just 17 years old when he was diagnosed with HIV. An immigrant in Miami, mourning the loss of his mother, Pedro was dealt another life-altering blow. Pedro’s newly single father was a stern man, but he always loved and accepted his son unconditionally. That compassion inspired Pedro to share his truth and bring awareness to other young people throughout South Florida.
In 1994, Pedro was selected as a cast member of MTV’s The Real World: San Francisco. At the time, there weren’t any other people like Pedro in living rooms across the country. A Cuban American man proudly saying, “I’m a proud gay, HIV positive, and I am just like you.” Pedro loved to make his friends laugh. He was a committed partner to his love, Sean. He was simply a human being and his life meant something to the people who had his heart. Pedro used his platform to challenge the stigma, to show that love comes in many forms, and, most importantly, to save lives.
The Real World: San Francisco premiered as Pedro’s health worsened. The program made an impact in so many lives, including his own. President Clinton awarded Pedro one final wish before his journey ended. His siblings were granted entrance from Cuba, so Pedro could be surrounded by everyone he loved. As The Real World: San Francisco came to an end, Pedro lost his battle with AIDS.
Vulnerability is scary, but Pedro’s openness gave others courage.
But Pedro Zamora is still here … because his story inspired a generation to carry the torch and fight for their right to live—and love—authentically.
It's time to Change the Pattern in the fight to end HIV and AIDS in the Southern United States. Be a part of this new initiative!