On November 7, 1991 Magic Johnson announced he was HIV-positive and  retired immediately. Click here for more.

It was an event that evoked the old Kennedy assassination question: where were you when you heard the news? Word that Magic Johnson had tested positive for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, whipped around the country last Thursday like a palm-stinging Magic Johnson pass. The stages of grief in America now move quickly, it seems, from denial to CNN. A few hours after the first news leak, the 32-year-old superstar appeared at a televised press conference, saying, “Because of the HIV virus I have obtained, I will have to announce my retirement from the Lakers today.” He admitted having been “naive” about AIDS and added, “Here I am saying it can happen to anybody, even me, Magic Johnson.”

Newsweek November 18, 1991



  1. st reblogged this from st and added:
    World AIDS Day 2012 For more information on HIV in the UK, visit: National AIDS Trust / HIV Aware / WorldAIDSday
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  7. neontommy reblogged this from cheatsheet and added:
    And yet, he’s still alive and well. Amazing what advances are being made in medicine today! ~Shaina, Neon Tommy Follow...
  8. thegrazing reblogged this from cheatsheet and added:
    It seems a bit magical that the virus hasn’t taken him yet…there’s only two others that I know of that have had the same...
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    It would be hard to convey to a young person the unadulterated, wide-ranging shock that came out of the 1991 Magic...
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  21. elizs reblogged this from nwkarchivist and added:
    Twenty years ago, yeesh.
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