Ever since basketball icon Earvin “Magic” Johnson came forward with his HIV status in November 1991, he has shared that he contracted the virus through unprotected sex. When he initially revealed his status in an article for Sports Illustrated, he wrote, “I am certain that I was infected by having unprotected sex with a woman who has the virus. The problem is that I can’t pinpoint the time, the place or the woman. It’s a matter of numbers.”
Recently, social media users have spread a video claiming that contaminated hepatitis B vaccines from a study run by Dr. Anthony Fauci decades ago was the actual cause of his diagnosis.
The original clip shows a scientist who’s opposed to vaccinations claiming that Dr. Fauci “gave” Magic Johnson HIV saying, “Why did Magic Johnson test positive for HIV? Because Fauci’s gain of function study used a contaminated hepatitis B vaccine. Targeting the susceptible then and now!”
Although no evidence has been offered in support of the claim and Magic Johnson hasn’t responded to the idea, Vice President of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Alexia Grevious Henderson, confirmed to AP News that he still believes he contracted the virus from unprotected sex.
Additionally, Johnson has neither mentioned a hepatitis B vaccine nor has he ever blamed Dr. Fauci for his condition. Henderson referenced Johnson’s appearance on The View last year where he thanked Fauci specifically and said Fauci and his team helped him understand that he needed to take his meds.
Following his retirement in 1991, Johnson returned to the league twice more before his final retirement in 1996. Since then, Johnson has become a high-profile advocate for HIV awareness and prevention. He credits his medication for keeping his HIV at an undetectable level, and has never developed AIDS.