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Noted Spokeswoman for AIDS Victims Dies of the Syndrome

August 12, 1986

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A woman who suffered from AIDS and became known as a spokeswoman for victims of the syndrome died over the weekend of brain damage stemming from her affliction.

Sonya Sherman, a 35-year-old legal secretary, died Sunday at her home in the Washington suburb of Silver Spring, Md.

Miss Sherman was diagnosed as suffering from acquired immune deficiency syndrome in October 1983, and later said she believed she contracted it in sexual relations with a bisexual man several years before.

After the diagnosis, she became active counseling other AIDS victims, and was quoted by national news media as an example that the affliction strikes women as well as homosexual men.

She entered a program at the National Institutes of Health using experimental drugs to bolster her immune systems. But her health grew progressively worse, and she suffered repeated bouts with pneumonia, became diabetic and grew deaf.

In an NBC-TV interview aired five days before her death, Miss Sherman said she was too weak to do much more than lie on her couch.

″I think I am still fighting, but I also think there are days when I just sort of - I’d like to give up or at least take a nap,″ she said on NBC.

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