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Rounding Up the Coverage on Magic Johnson's HIV Announcement Anniversary

November 8, 2011

Nov. 7, 1991, was the day Magic Johnson announced to the public that he was living with HIV and was going to retire from professional basketball. On the 20th anniversary of his announcement, let's take a look at how the media commemorated this historic day.

Magic 20 Years Later (ESPN)

In this interview with Hannah Storm, Johnson reflects on his announcement and the work he's been doing to educate the world on HIV/AIDS, including what he thinks is the biggest misconception about the disease.

When Magic Defied Tragic, 20 Years Later (ESPN)

In this blog entry, sportswriter Marc Stein reflects on being at Johnson's press conference. At the time, Stein was a 22-year-old newbie reporter for the Los Angeles Daily News. He writes, "Nov. 7, 1991, gave one lucky kid reporter an introduction to the NBA [National Basketball Association] that no one in Hollywood could have dreamed up. I squeezed into the Forum Club scrum near the door that afternoon thinking I had to come to see the beginning of Earvin 'Magic' Johnson's slow deterioration to tragic expiration … only to find myself back in the same spot less than five years later for a Forum Club lunch with a very, very alive-and-dishing legend."

Magic Johnson Remains a Living Symbol of Hope (Los Angeles Times)

In this article, sports columnist Bill Plaschke recounts what life was like during the time of Johnson's announcement and interviews Johnson about his thoughts then and now. Johnson talks about why he announced he had HIV at all if nobody would have known otherwise, and shares how he stays healthy today.

Will This Generation's Magic Johnson Please Stand Up? (TheBody.com)

Our news editor Kellee Terrell shares her experience upon hearing Johnson's announcement 20 years ago. She discusses how, despite Johnson's efforts, many heterosexual African-American men still don't ask for an HIV test -- nor are they often offered one. And after 30 years of HIV, when we still see people misunderstand how the virus is transmitted and believe mistruths about the down low, Terrell wonders when the next famous, heterosexual, male HIV advocate living with the virus will step up to fight stigma and increase awareness.

In addition to Terrell's article, we also share a collection of thoughts from HIV/AIDS community members and advocates on how Johnson's HIV disclosure inspired them or changed their lives.

Video Vault: Magic Johnson's Stunning HIV News (CNN)

CNN dives into its video vault to show us the network's original news report from Johnson's 1991 announcement.


Other Web Highlights

Magic Johnson Maintains Optimism in HIV Fight (Mark Medina, Los Angeles Times)

20 Years Later, Still Alive, Still Lively (Harvey Araton, The New York Times)

20 Years Ago, Magic Took on Challenge of HIV ... and Won (David Aldridge, NBA.com)

Magic Johnson's Influence, 20 Years Later (Kelly Dwyer, Yahoo! Sports)

Magic Johnson and Public Opinion on AIDS and Sex (John Sides, The New York Times)

Warren Tong is the research editor for TheBody.com and TheBodyPRO.com.

Follow Warren on Twitter: @WarrenAtTheBody.


Copyright © 2011 The HealthCentral Network, Inc. All rights reserved.



This article was provided by TheBody.com.

See Also
13 Moments in Black Celebrity Activism
History's Biggest HIV-Positive Celebrities
More on Celebrities and HIV/AIDS


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