Remembered for her HIV and AIDS activism, this New York woman tragically died of the disease when she was only twenty six years old. In the years leading up to her death, she appeared on television multiple times and was featured in The New York Times.
She was diagnosed with AIDS at the age of twenty one. She later discovered that she had contracted the disease six years earlier during a one-time encounter with a much-older, bisexual man named Cort Brown. She studied at New York's famous Parsons The New School for Design.
She encouraged the general public to practice safe sex and to realize that AIDS can happen to anyone.
The daughter and only child of business executives Jerrold and Carol Gertz, she grew up in Manhattan, New York.
She was portrayed by Molly Ringwald in a 1992 made-for-TV movie.