Magic Johnson Wants to Remind You He's Still Got HIV -- 20 Years Later! (VIDEO)

Inspiring 11

Magic JohnsonGet ready to feel old, folks. It has been just over 20 years since Magic Johnson stood in the Forum in Los Angeles and told the world he had HIV. Eesh, 20 years. Hard to believe, huh?

Since last night, when ESPN aired its documentary The Announcement about that big reveal, I've been racking my brain, and I have to admit I can't really remember a time when the name "Magic" didn't immediately conjure the word "AIDS" in my mind. The two have been intertwined since, well, November 7, 1991.

A big part of it is the fame, of course. Magic was (still is) one of the greatest basketball players ever. He was 6 feet 9 inches of ass kicking on that court. When he said he was walking away from that, the NBA stood still. I mean, there's a reason the documentary was called The Announcement and not "Magic Johnson's Kicking HIV In the Butt." That one moment reshaped the entire conversation about HIV and AIDS in America, and it's because of who he was at the time.

But as the documentary showed last night, Johnson could have ended it right then and there. That's what wife Cookie wanted him to do. She wanted privacy. I think it's more amazing -- he's more amazing -- that he went the other way. He made this his legacy. 

Magic has spent 20 years being completely open about his womanizing mistakes because he wants to help change the world for other AIDS/HIV sufferers. That takes some guts -- not only to admit that he did things wrong, but to allow your name to be tied to a disease that still fills Americans with fear. Even agreeing to this documentary is brave -- he knew it would bring people back to the story of how and why he had to give up the game.

He's a rich guy who can afford the thousands of dollars in drugs he has to take every month to keep the disease at bay, but he fights for those who don't have his money or his resources. Whether it's work with his non-profit foundation or showing up at schools to talk to kids, he has purposely kept his name and this disease linked in the media for decades. That's 20 years of serious ... magic? (Oh come on, you know it had to be said.)

Check out a look at what's in the documentary from ESPN:

What were you doing when Magic made his announcement? What do you think of when you hear his name?


athletes, basketball


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Brett Martin

always have been, always will be a magic johnson fan. he's done an amazing thing that's taken his mistakes and is helping SHOW people by example how not to be- and i applaud him

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I had no idea he was HIV positive or that he was retired. Clearly I have no interest in basketball.

Mrscj... Mrscjones

He's the worst spokesperson for why you shouldnt get Aids ever. 20 years no lesions no sickness he make Aids look like not that bad of a disease. As a kid watching Philadelphia made me want to take extra precautions then Magic Johnson. Being in sex ed and seeing the bad side not the fact you can live 20 years without so much as a sniffle from a disease that kills your immune system. I love what he's trying to do. But make somebody who can't afford the thousands of dollars that can relate to everyday people a spokesperson

SwePea SwePea

I kinda got the feeling from this article that it doesn't have to become AIDS. Being absolutely terrified of the disease enabled me to always use condoms as a teen. The reality is that he's rich so he can afford the medications. Heck, he might even have access to better medicines because of his socioeconomic status. If money is something you have to work for, catching HIV will completely change your life. The daily medication cocktail will make you sick. You will end up on disability/social security for income since the constant sickness and health scares will make it impossible to keep a job.

yazzy91 yazzy91

My husband is a huge Magic Johnson fan and when Magic announced he had AIDS he literally cried for him.

yazzy91 yazzy91

My husband is a huge Magic Johnson fan and when Magic announced he had AIDS he literally cried for him.

nonmember avatar Jeannie

Technically Magic Johnson does not have AIDS. He has HIV which luckly has not turned into Aids. With HIV, the majority of the time you do not get very sick. He is living proof that HIV is not a death sentence and can be controlled.

Bob Steele

there is no way this guy had hiv look at him hiv in time makes you look very old my brother has it and it is killing him even taking the meds this is a pay to magic from the hiv doctors because they make money off this the meds makes you so bad in time eats everything in your body inside you die a very pain full death i have seen this if you have hiv don"t take the drugs in time 20 years or so you will be in so much pain ever way you will die a bad death

nonmember avatar j

he is not on any medications 100 % of americans with HIV aren't on.. he doesn't pay for anything extra.. it's all covered by insurance.. just as it is covered for those with no insurance through your county clinincs.

Julius Donte' Bates

I'm a Lakers fan to the heart also love and respect Mr Magic Johnson... I'm just confused and as Magic has said himself we as African Americans are uneducated when it comes to Aids and HIV! With that said I was under the impression that with this sickness, you lose weight! Magic sure seems to know how to keep the weight on! And for those who believe Magic doesn't get special treatment or pay for better medicines.... well you're suffering from denial... But hey maybe I'm wrong. It wouldn't be the 1st time I've been wrong, but that's just how I feel. That's my story & I'm sticking to it! Over 20yrs... GOD is good I know that much!

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