Fans celebrate with Magic Johnson as he marks the 28th anniversary of revealing his HIV status to the world.
It’s been 28 years since legendary basketball player Magic Johnson declared that he was living with HIV.
Earvin "Magic" Johnson attends The Ryan Gordy Foundation Celebrates 60 Years Of Mowtown at Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills | Photo: Getty Images
To celebrate the milestone, he took to Twitter to share:
‘Yesterday, Nov. 7, marked the 28th anniversary of my HIV announcement. I feel so blessed to be here and want to thank everyone for their support, prayers, and well wishes over these years!’
Naturally, fans and family who have followed his journey over the years camped in Magic’s mention to congratulate and encourage him to keep going.
MD Mag recalls the shocking moment in November 1991 when the father-of-three announced that he had tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.
Besides being one of the first straight public figures to come out clean about having the illness, he and his wife, Cookie, had only been married for 45 days at the time of the revelation.
Because he understood the stigma that came with having the disease, Magic encouraged his wife to do what was best for her, even if it meant divorcing him.
Luckily for him, Cookie chose to stay by his side and today, they have children whom they love.
‘I just want to make clear; first of all, I do not have the AIDS disease. My wife is fine. She’s (tested) negative. I plan to go on living for a long time.’
While Magic seems to have handled the heartbreaking news well, one person who had a tough time coming to terms with it was his wife.
According to ABC News, Cookie disclosed that she was ‘scared to death’ and feared that her husband might die.
The 60-year-old revealed that she and her Magic had also just found out she was pregnant with their first child, E.J., so waiting for test results and more news made the situation even trickier for her family.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Chairman and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises speaks onstage during ONWARD19: The Future Of Search - Day 2 at Marriott Marquis Times Square | Photo: Getty Images
Luckily, neither she nor her unborn child contracted the disease. Besides opening her family’s eyes to new realities, Magic also dedicated himself to becoming the public face of HIV while starting a foundation and speaking openly about safe sex per an SBS article.
Additionally, the 60-year-old continues to rebuild the many misconceptions surrounding the virus.