Magic Johnson Marks 30 Years of Living with HIV: 'I Thank the Lord for Keeping Me'

Sunday marked three decades since the former professional basketball player revealed his health diagnosis to the world in a 1991 press conference

magic johnson
Photo: Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty

Earvin "Magic" Johnson is marking 30 years since he first announced that he is HIV positive.

On Sunday, the 62-year-old former professional basketball player penned a statement on Twitter noting that it has been three decades since he revealed his health diagnosis to the world in a 1991 press conference.

"God has really blessed me!" he began his tweet. "Today marks 30 years living with HIV so the message resonated with me in such a tremendous way."

"I thank the Lord for keeping me, giving me strength, and guiding me for 62 years but especially the last 30," Magic then added alongside a prayer emoji.

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The anniversary of Magic's announcement followed him and wife Cookie opening up about the impact the diagnosis had on their relationship in an interview with CBS Mornings' Gayle King on Thursday.

Magic said telling his wife about his HIV diagnosis was the "toughest" thing he's ever had to do.

"It was hard because I loved her so much and I hated to hurt her," Magic told King, 66. "I've played against some of the best basketball players in the world, right? I've been in championships. I've been in nine [NBA] Finals, so I know pressure. But there was no greater pressure than driving home to tell her."

Magic's HIV is currently undetectable, though the athlete must still take a "cocktail once a day" of medications to help keep it under control. "Everything is great," he said.

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During the candid conversation, Cookie also admitted that she was not initially in favor of Magic holding the press conference announcing his HIV diagnosis due to the stigma surrounding the disease years ago.

"At that time, people weren't educated, so they thought you couldn't touch people. You couldn't hug people. And I didn't want people to treat us like we were lepers," she told King.

Cookie did join her husband on stage for his announcement, however, along with a specially selected outfit.

"I wore that white suit for a reason. I didn't want to wear anything dark or black because to me, it's what it symbolized. And the white suit, to me, symbolized brightness, like a future basically [and] positivity," she explained.

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