September 9, 2017
This article originally appeared on Inquisitr.com.
Madonna is on the cover of People this week. In the magazine, she talks about her kids, her philanthropy, and recalls being in the middle of the AIDS crisis during the 1980s at a time when even the president of the United States wouldn’t even help.
“When the AIDS epidemic first came to New York and I was living on the Lower East Side, my best friend was HIV-positive,” Madonna says, adding that she went to St. Vincent’s Hospital to see her HIV-positive friend and could smell death all over the AIDS ward.
Madonna says she felt a sense of responsibility and compassion since everybody else was casting HIV-positive men aside. This helped Madonna become known as one of the pioneers of the gay rights movement. She used the experience and the death of her friend Martin Burgoyne to speak out about AIDS and gay rights during the 1980s — a time when doing so could have killed a career.