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REBEKKA ARMSTRONG: FORMER PLAYMATE HAS AIDS

Rebekka Armstrong recently told a captivated audience, "This is what the face of AIDS looks like," gesturing to herself.   "There was a time when you could tell a person with AIDS by the way they looked.  Now you simply can't."

Armstrong's lecture was part of ‘AIDS Awareness Week.’

Playboy's Miss September 1986 was diagnosed with HIV in 1989, when she was 22.  The former swimwear and lingerie model believes she contracted the disease at 16 through having unprotected sex (with a male model) at a fraternity party.

Armstrong believed she hadn't long to live so she led a decadent lifestyle after learning her diagnosis.  She became homeless and addicted to methamphetamines.

A suicide attempt left her comatose for several days, after which she was admitted to a mental hospital against her will. She regained control of her life after attending an AIDS support group for women.

Now an activist, she speaks to college and high school students about the dangers of having unprotected sex and making unwise decisions. "The factors that put me at risk for HIV?  No self-esteem at all," said Armstrong, 39.   "I was uncomfortable in my own skin.  It takes one time to put yourself at risk and catch HIV.  If you've made a decision to have sex, you absolutely have to protect yourself."

Armstrong has also become a competitive bodybuilder and placed first in the middleweight category of the ‘2004 Los Angeles Bodybuilding and Figure Championship.’

She is currently married to Oliver Luettgenau, a personal trainer who is also HIV positive.

Source: “The Body.com”

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