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HIV :: Magic celebrates anniversary of contracting HIV

Fifteen years ago this week, Magic Johnson’s announcement that he was HIV positive and was leaving pro basketball shocked a nation and immediately made the NBA star the public face of the dreaded disease.

The National Basketball Association (NBA) is the world’s premier men’s professional basketball league and one of the major professional sports leagues of North America.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jr. (born August 14, 1959 in Lansing, Michigan) is an American former basketball player, widely regarded as one of the purest passers and best point guards in the game’s history.

He has won championships at every level of competition – high school, collegiate, professional, and international. His college career at Michigan State University reinvigorated the game of basketball. The 1979 National Championship between Michigan State and Larry Bird’s Indiana State, with Michigan State winning the NCAA Championship, was the most-watched college basketball game in history.

His professional career consisted of 13 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom he won five NBA championships, was named to the NBA All-Star team 12 times, was league MVP three times, and NBA Finals MVP three times. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002, and was voted to the NBA’s 50th Anniversary All-Time Team in 1996.

In 1991 he became one of the first sports celebrities to announce his HIV-seropositivity, and as one of the most well-known public figures to be HIV positive, he has continually worked to educate and raise awareness of the disease.

But fifteen years later, Magic is still going strong, and his brave announcement still touches those who admire him.

Medicine has come a long way since Magic’s announcement.

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