Sunday, November 6, 2011

The MAGIC Announcement: 20 Years Later

Tomorrow will mark 20 years to the date when Magic Johnson announced he was HIV positive.  He also stated that he only took the test because it was required for a life insurance policy.  After reminding the press and television viewers at home that HIV and AIDS was not a gay disease and that it can happen to anyone, even a superstar athlete, he urged his other players to get tested and practice safe sex.  We are still having the same dialogue today, 20 years later.  Did Magic Johnson's announcement and message, especially to fellow athletes, hit home? Will his legacy, not just in sports, but his subsequent HIV/AIDS advocating and activism leave a lasting impression?  

We, at GET DOWN, hope so, but the truth is according to a Center for Disease Control (CDC) report released August 3rd, 2011, there are about 50,000 new HIV infection cases each year.  Communities of color are especially hit hard.  The report also states that while African Americans represent 14 percent of the total U.S. population, the new estimates find that they accounted for nearly half of new HIV infections in 2009.   The HIV infection rate among blacks in 2009 was almost eight times as high as that of Caucasians.  Young African American and Latino males are especially at risk.  Young people, ages 13-24, are the third highest age group.  This is why we do what we do.  Read, learn, share! Read, learn, share!  READ, LEARN, SHARE!


GET DOWN is not just a PSA, it’s a movement!

In peace and progress,

Kim J. Ford

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