We continue to celebrate Black History Month!
The first article on this page discusses the impact Magic Johnson’s announcement that he had HIV had on one of the editors, who recalls it as a pivotal moment in her life.
Here is an excerpt from the article by Deputy Editor of The Root, Genetta M. Adams:
“Twenty-five years later, not only is Johnson still here, but he is thriving. A new generation knows the basketball legendary primarily as a savvy businessman whose name is on movie theaters in their neighborhoods, or they know him through his son E.J., who’s become a bit of a fashion icon.
But in that time, African Americans have become the racial group most affected by HIV/AIDS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2014, 44 percent of new HIV/AIDS cases in United States were among African Americans, who are only 12 percent of the population. And while the number of new HIV/AIDS cases among African-American women fell 42 percent from 2005 to 2014, the number is still high in comparison with women of other ethnicities.
More strikingly, the CDC reports that only 1 in 5 sexually active high school students have been tested for HIV, and nearly 45 percent of young Americans (ages 18-24) living with the disease don’t even know they’re infected.
In 1991 Johnson woke us up to the reality of HIV/AIDS. But in some ways his longevity in living with HIV has lulled some of us back to sleep.