"Real World" Star Sean Sasser Dies at 44

By Rebecca Macatee
|  Thursday, Aug 8, 2013  |  Updated 5:27 PM EDT
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President Clinton greets HIV-positive AIDS Activist Sean Sasser during the first White House conference on AIDS, Wednesday Dec. 6, 1995 at the Treasury Department in Washington.

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Sean Sasser, of "The Real World: San Francisco," died at age 44, his friend and former castmate Judd Winick confirmed Tuesday.

"Our friend Sean Sasser has died. Our love goes out to his family &husband Michael," Winick tweeted. "We will miss u so much."

Sasser was introduced to the spotlight in the early '90s and known for dating his "Real World" costar Pedro Zamora. Zamora's battle with HIV and AIDS brought international attention to a then-taboo topic, which was covered at length on MTV up until his death at age 22.

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Sasser, who exchanged rings with Zamora in a televised commitment ceremony, became an AIDS activist leading up to and after his costar's death.

He later became a pastry chef and found love again with partner Michael Kaplan. Kaplan told Queerty Sasser died of mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lungs.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

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