Saturday, December 1, 2007

World AIDS Day

In honor of World AIDS Day, weLoveSoaps presents a look back at the first daytime soap opera death due to the AIDS virus.

Dawn Rollo (played by Barbara Bush, now Barbara Tyson) was introduced on "Another World" in 1987 as the sister of former pimp, Chad. She fell in love with hunky Scott LaSalle (Hank Cheyne) and spent the rest of her short life with him. She was diagnosed with AIDS which she got from a blood transfusion from her prostitute mother, Joan, and died in early 1988.

Shortly after Dawn was introduced on AW, "All My Children" began their own HIV storyline about Cindy, a character that won an Emmy for Ellen Wheeler. Cindy had contracted HIV from her husband, Fred, who was infected from sharing needles for drug use. She died early in 1989 in one of the soap's most watched episodes.

In 1988, "As The World Turns" introduced the character of Hank Elliot (Brian Starcher) who was later revealed to be the first gay male character on daytime. Not wanting Hank to be some sort of stereotype, Douglas Marland gave Hank's off-camera partner, Charles, the virus. Hank was written out when he left to go take care of Charles.

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