Real World star Sean Sasser died this week at the age of 44.
According to US Weekly, Sasser, who appeared on the MTV show in 1994, died of mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that effects people with weakened immune systems. Details about Sasser’s medical condition aren’t known at this time but Queerty reports that the disease is often linked to people who are HIV positive.
Judd Winick, who also appeared on The Real World: San Francisco, made the announcement on Twitter: “Our friend Sean Sasser has died. Our love goes out to his family & husband Michael. We will miss u so much.”
Sasser, an AIDS activist, revealed that he was HIV positive on the Real World. The young reality star also created a landmark television moment when his commitment ceremony to Pedro Zamora was broadcast on MTV.
Sadly, Zamora passed away due to complications with AIDS shortly after the ceremony.
Queerty writes: “Long before Ellen or Will & Grace showcased gay people on TV living mainstream lives, and before the magic of protease inhibitor ‘cocktails’ turned HIV into a manageable disease, Sasser gave a brave face to both issues and brought those taboo topics to educate millions of young Americans.”
MTV reports that Sasser was living in Washington D.C. with his partner Michael Kaplan at the time of his death. Sasser was working as a pastry chef in the city while Kaplan ran the AIDS United non-profit group.
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