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We’ve recently redesigned our website, so it’s possible that the page is temporarily unavailable, has been removed or renamed, or no longer exists.In the early '90s, Magic Johnson was at the top of his game as point guard for the L. Then on November 7, 1991, he shocked the world by announcing he was HIV-positive and was abruptly retiring from basketball.

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While rumors have spread that he either has been cured of the disease or has access to special medications due to his celebrity, Magic says these rumors are false.

His good health is a direct result of his lifestyle, positive attitude and commitment to taking his medication.

Magic says he needs to stay healthy just to keep up with his own life. When Magic and his wife, Cookie, learned Magic was diagnosed with HIV, they say they were scared of both the disease and going public with the information.

He works to educate people about HIV and AIDS, oversees an ever-expanding empire of real estate holdings and businesses, and serves as vice president and co-owner of his former team, the L. "At the time, you know, HIV and AIDS were looked at as this horrible disease that you could catch just by touching someone. Fifteen years ago we were still pretty ignorant," Cookie says. We're very private people and I wanted to keep it private.

I was ready to fight it, but I wanted to do it privately.

I didn't think we had to do it with the whole world." But after a meeting with Elizabeth Glaser, who was dying from AIDS at the time, Magic had a different idea.

"I talked to [Elizabeth] about two or three times and she said, 'The only thing I want you to do is to become the face of HIV and AIDS. You're going to live for a long time because there are a lot of great medicines coming down the pipeline, but I really want you to go public because people really need to know that HIV and AIDS are out here in a big way.'"When Magic made his announcement, he says he didn't worry about a negative reaction from his family and closest friends, but he did occasionally run into ignorance. "In our community, we have so many issues in terms of black men in prison, and then also living a double life, on the down low. And then a lot of people who get HIV who are minorities feel they can't go to their families because of what their family's reaction is going to be."When they first learned of Magic's status as HIV-positive, Magic and Cookie say they both believed it was essentially a death sentence.

"Some people who used to give you the handshake and the hug, they'd give you the peace sign now, or the power sign," Magic says. They quickly learned otherwise, especially for people who are diagnosed early in their infection.

After playing on the historic Olympic "Dream Team" in 1992, Magic even tried to make an NBA comeback in 1995. You couldn't get it by playing basketball against me or high-fiving me or hugging me." Spurred by Magic's announcement, the public, especially in minority communities, became educated about the realities of HIV and AIDS. To strengthen his immune system, Magic maintains a strenuous health regimen with a daily workout that includes an hour on an exercise bike followed by weight training.

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