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French actress reveals HIV status in book

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PARIS, Oct 17, 2005 (UPI via COMTEX) -- French actress Charlotte Valandrey has revealed she has been HIV positive since age 17 and had a heart transplant two years ago.

Valandrey, 36, is only one of a handful of French celebrities to talk about AIDS, let alone reveal they are HIV positive, the Telegraph reported Monday.

She hit the big time at age 16 in the film "Rouge Baiser," then found out the following year a French rock musician had given her the AIDS virus, she wrote in her book "L'Amour Dans Le Sang (Love in the Blood)," the Telegraph said.

"My world caved in the day the letter arrived from the laboratory announcing that I was HIV positive," she wrote.

She confided her secret in 1989 and because of insurance problems found herself drummed out of the film industry.

She turned to TV and found success in a long-running crime series.

Her 2003 heart transplant followed two heart attacks that left her own heart working at only 10 percent capacity, she said.

Valendrey says writing the book and revealing her secrets to everyone has been "liberating."


Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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