After weeks of waiting, the results of Prince's autopsy is coming out this week. One law-enforcement representative told The Associated Press anonymously today that opioids played a role in the 57-year-old pop music icon's death.
Prince was found dead in the elevator of his Chanhassen, Minnesota, home on on April 21. The same anonymous law enforcement official reported that when paramedics found him, Prince had been dead for at least six hours.
Two doctors who treated Prince have come forward and are cooperating with investigators who are researching his death, which opioids were involved, and how they were obtained.
Many people living with HIV who struggle with chronic pain are also taking narcotic opioids like Morphine and Oxycontin, and are keenly interested in what role they played in Prince's death. Prince lived with chronic pain from hip and knee injuries sustained while he performed.
In addition, legal precendence indicates that many of the media's sensationalistic headlines claiming Prince had AIDS may go without answer. The stigmatizing language in those tabloid articles have already done their damage. But information on which unrelated medical conditions an individual has is sometimes left out of the published accounts of autopsy for the sake of privacy.
Check back later this month for Kenyon Farrow's look how the media's treatment of Prince reminds us of the deep stigma facing people with HIV.