The announcement, 25 years ago today, came as a shock: “Because of the HIV virus I have obtained, I will have to retire today from the Lakers,” Magic Johnson, with his wife Cookie at his side, told a packed room of sports reporters, many of whom cried when they heard the news.
In 1991, HIV/AIDS was still largely seen as a disease that affected gay men and drug addicts — despite its growing encroachment in the African American community.
At the time, very few celebrities had gone public with an HIV diagnosis and none with as many adoring fans as Johnson, who admitted to having contracted the disease from unprotected heterosexual sex.
The impact of Magic’s announcement was huge!
But HIV/AIDS is still a major problem in America today… especially in the black community.
Every 10 minutes, someone in the U.S. contracts HIV. Half are black. Thirty years after the discovery of the AIDS virus among gay white men, nearly half of the 1 million people in the United States infected with HIV are black men, women and children.
Our research team has gather a few resources that my be useful to nonprofits or community groups that work on this issues: