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Did Magic Johnson Donate HIV-Infected Blood?!

Was NBA legend Magic Johnson caught donating HIV-infected blood?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : Magic Johnson Donated HIV-Infected Blood!

A photo of Magic Johnson has gone viral, with many people posting it as evidence that he donated HIV-infected blood, together with outraged comments “Explain this!” and “No fucking way you are serious”

The viral photo came with this description, dated 18 August 2022, 3:39 PM :

Earlier today, NBA legend Magic Johnson donated some of his blood to the Red Cross to help underprivileged communities fight COVID-19.

Another version circulated in 2015, with this claim :

Retired NBA star, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, has decided to run a blood drive in conjunction with American Red Cross to support the National Awareness Month for Leukemia and Lymphoma. So far, Johnson has had a [sic] of 1,827 donors including himself and has saved about 438 patients so far.


Truth : Magic Johnson Did Not Donate HIV-Infected Blood!

This is yet another example of FAKE NEWS circulating on social media, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : Magic Johnson Never Donated Blood

Magic Johnson has been living with HIV for over 30 years now, after announcing that he tested positive for HIV in 1991, and retiring from the NBA.

As a HIV-positive person, he is not allowed to donate blood, and has never donated blood. He publicly announced this in a tweet on August 23, 2022 :

I’m aware of the false story circling the internet, and to be clear, I have never donated blood.

Fact #2 : Photo Is A 10 Years Old Screenshot

The viral photo is not new. Neither was it really a photo.

It was actually a screenshot from a documentary from 10 years ago – Endgame: AIDS in Black America, that was released in 2012.

Fact #3 : Photo Shows Magic Johnson Getting His Blood Taken

The screenshot was taken from a part of the documentary where Magic Johnson is shown undergoing a medical examination, which involved taking a blood sample.

It does not show him giving blood. It only shows him giving a blood sample.

Fact #4 : 2022 Fake Post Was Created By Satire Account

The 2022 version was created by a satire account on Twitter – @cocksources. Its profile states that part of its mission was “spreading narratives with misinformation (satire)“.

Unfortunately, many did not realise that it was created as satire, especially when people posted screenshots of the original post.

Fact #5 : Blood Donations Cannot Fight COVID-19

Blood donations do not help people infected with COVID-19, so the claim that Magic Johnson donated blood to help underprivileged communities fight COVID-19 is utter nonsense.

Vaccines, not blood donations, are needed to help underprivileged communities fight COVID-19.


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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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