Rebekka Armstrong is a former Playboy Playmate, a sexual assault survivor, and an HIV/AIDS champion who can only be characterised as immensely powerful. There’s no denying she’s been through a lot in her life, but the way she’s chosen to cope with it – with tenacity and optimism — makes her a great inspiration.
So, now that Rebekka has given the circumstances of how she first came into the public eye at the age of 18 on A&E’s ‘Secrets of Playboy,’ let’s learn more about her adventures and where she is today.
Rebekka Armstrong Biography
In the September 1994 issue of The Advocate, Armstrong revealed that she is HIV-positive. She said that she had been infected since 1989, but that she had spent the two years following her diagnosis retreating into substance misuse.
She had come out as a lesbian and decided to educate others about HIV/AIDS, especially among lesbian and bisexual women, by the time The Advocate storey was published.
She said she didn’t know when she had the virus, although it might have been as early as the age of 16. She identified as bisexual at the time she was questioned by AIDS Project Los Angeles in 1999, and said she had been infected at the age of 16 “to the best of my knowledge.”
Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy, and the Playboy Foundation aided Armstrong financially on her AIDS-awareness campaign, the College Campus Safer Sex education programme, according to a University of Toledo event notice from 2004.
Armstrong detailed the early stages of her illness, the harsh AZT therapy she underwent, the happy and horrible times of that five-year period, and her suicide attempt, which was followed by a coma and a lengthy hospital stay, in a 2013 lecture to community college students in Spokane, Washington.
Armstrong has competed as a bodybuilder in addition to her previous modelling career and present advocacy.
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Rebekka Armstrong’s Life After ‘Playboy’ Magazine
Rebekka Armstrong knew she would have to work hard to pay for her education as she grew up in the little community of Ridgecrest, California, in the Mojave Desert. That’s why, on her 18th birthday, she began looking for a job as a Playmate (her ideal job) to help finance her other (collegiate) goals.
Despite the fact that the kid was crowned Miss September 1986 and went on to land a slew of exciting possibilities, a sexual attack by a promotional client and her diagnosis of AIDS at the age of 22 wrecked all of her well-laid goals.
According to the documentary, Hugh Hefner and the Playboy group helped her in whatever way they could when she initially shared the news of her positive result after years of hiding in 1994, but it wasn’t enough.
Rebekka became an advocate over time, focusing on educating others about the disease, but since HIV/AIDS meant death in the 1990s, she also turned to drugs and alcohol.
She even went so far as to attempt suicide after nearly five years of numbing herself with these medications with the goal of dying on her own terms.
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On her lowest day, Rebekka is said to have washed down a variety of drugs with tequila, gotten into her car, and purposefully crashed it into a wall at full speed.
She was in a coma for several days before waking up in a nearby hospital, where she pleaded with the doctors to just let her die. The former model was then taken to a psychiatric facility, where she was finally able to begin her recovery and realise that her life is much more than her illness.
She isn’t sure how she got the virus, but she suspects it was through an act of unprotected intercourse when she was in high school – at the age of 16.
What happened to Rebekka Armstrong?
Rebekka Armstrong has truly transformed her life. The 55-year-old is now a bodybuilder, a personal trainer, and an active HIV/AIDS campaigner as well as a sex educator, in addition to being a former model.
Rebekka has spent the last two decades of her life touring the world to raise awareness about the disease and its preventative strategies, all while demonstrating that it is possible to avoid becoming a shadow of one’s former self.
Everything resonates with the Los Angeles native since she speaks from her own experiences and appears to have no selfish motives or be resentful of her past.