Sasser's partner, Michael Kaplan, posted Wednesday on Facebook:
Dear Facebook Friends –
With broken heart over the loss of my life mate – I share the news that Sean Franklin Sasser passed away early this evening, August 7, 2013. Having lived for 25 years with HIV, at the age of 44, Sean died after a short but difficult battle with Mesothelioma.
Sean was many things to many people – to me, he was the love of my life, my spouse, and all that is good. To others, he’s been a mentor, a foster parent, a pastry chef, an activist, an artists, a care taker, a family member, a best friend, and admired colleague, a tv personality and so much more. To each and every one of us, he was something special.
As per Sean’s wish, his body will be cremated, with ashes spread to places he’s been or longed to go. And while ashes spread, we hope friends will gather, whether at the Memorial I organize, or at Memorials others may choose to organize throughout the many places and communities Sean has touched.
"Very sad," Pedro Zamora's sister, Mily Zamora, posted on Facebook. "RIP Sean Sasser."
Pedro became a national symbol for living with HIV -- and dying of AIDS at age 22 -- when he appeared in 1994 on season three of The Real World in San Francisco.
Diagnosed with HIV at age 17, Zamora had been an AIDS activist for several years when he sent a letter to Real World producers asking to be on the show.
Midway through filming the series, Zamora's health suddenly declined. He died Nov. 11, 1994, just after the final third-season episode of Real World aired.
MTV told Zamora's story in a 2009 docudrama, Pedro, written by Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black (Milk).