Magic Johnson Thrives 20 Years On as Hero Who Demystified HIV

Magic Johnson Thrives 20 Years On as Hero Who Demystified HIV

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Magic Johnson HIV Press Conference20 years ago, basketball all-star Magic Johnson stepped to the microphones at a Los Angeles press conference to tell the world he was HIV-positive. Not a single person watching on Nov 7, 1991 thought he would be around to hold another news conference 20 years later.

Sports fans were stunned as Johnson, still in his prime, announced that he would have to walk away from basketball at age 32, only a year after winning his third MVP award.

With his super-sized grin intact, the athlete was determined to keep his mental attitude positive.

He decided to become the face of the disease, to educate people about HIV and help care for those with full-blown AIDS. He forgave fellow players who complained publicly about having to engage in physical contact with him on a basketball court.

That year he started the Magic Johnson Foundation, which has since raised $10 million for AIDS research, supplied HIV testing and medication for 250,000 people and provided 150 low-income students with college scholarships.

(WATCH the Video interview below, or READ inspiring story at ESPN)