On Crenshaw Boulevard, Kim Smith said she had heard rumors that Wright had been shot. "That's the word on the street," she said, expressing surprise that Wright has AIDS. "Maybe that's what people were saying to go along with his tough guy image."
Another fan, Tyesha Mohammed, said it was important for rap artists to discuss AIDS. "More people should talk about it because our people are dying of it every day," she said.
"He was one of our own," Mohammed said. "Him and N.W.A. really put the West Coast on the map."
In the three weeks since diver Louganis revealed that he has AIDS, the number of people showing up for anonymous HIV testing at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center has risen 41%. The news of Wright's illness will probably keep those figures high, said the center's programs director, Darrel Cummings.
Likewise, AIDS Healthcare Foundation spokesman Cesar Portillo said, "HIV infection is skyrocketing among youth, and we hope Eazy-E's announcement will help the effort to prevent new infections among our young people, especially youth of color."
Times staff writer Bettina Boxall contributed to this story.