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Video: Magic Johnson Foundation and Abbott Call for Greater Prevention, Testing and Treatment on World AIDS Day
Date:12/1/2008

Earvin 'Magic' Johnson and Cookie Johnson Public Service Announcement (PSA) focuses on HIV/AIDS and African Americans

ABBOTT PARK, Ill., Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --Today, on the 20th anniversary of World AIDS Day, the Magic Johnson Foundation and Abbott are calling on the public to educate themselves, their family and friends about HIV/AIDS and its impact on the African-American community. A new social networking tool allows Facebook users to stand with Magic by learning the facts about HIV/AIDS, getting tested and knowing their status and seeking treatment, if needed.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/abbott/35841/

More than one million Americans have been affected by the disease, and the epidemic continues to disproportionally affect African Americans. Abbott and the Magic Johnson Foundation, partners in the "I Stand With Magic, Campaign to End Black HIV/AIDS," aim to address the alarming rate of HIV/AIDS among the African-American community.

"We need to take it upon ourselves to reduce the number of new infections, especially in the African-American community where they make up half of new HIV/AIDS infections," said Earvin "Magic" Johnson. "Educating minority communities about HIV/AIDS and encouraging them to get tested, go back for their results and seek treatment is crucial to stopping the spread of HIV. Early detection can save your life. The earlier you know your status, the earlier you can get treatment and take action to help manage this disease."

PSAs Directed by Spike Lee

In collaboration with Academy Award-nominated director Spike Lee, the program launched a national national public service announcement (PSA) campaign featuring Earvin "Magic" Johnson and his wife, Cookie Johnson, having a frank discussion about the need for African Americans to get educated, get tested and seek treatment for HIV/AIDS.

  • The first PSA, titled "Stand" focuses on a "call to action" for African Americans to address the epidemic in their communities.
  • The second PSA, titled "Talk" encourages women to protect themselves and talk to their partners about HIV.

"I Stand with Magic" on Facebook

The Magic Johnson Foundation and Abbott are engaging young adults to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS and protect their health by knowing their HIV status, which is the first and most important step in the fight against the HIV epidemic.

  • The Facebook group provides a new opportunity for individuals to personally engage, educate and motivate their family, friends and colleagues in Facebook's active online community.

African Americans and HIV/AIDS

Since the beginning of the epidemic, African Americans have accounted for more than 40 percent of the nearly one million HIV/AIDS cases diagnosed in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's most recent statistics, black Americans today represent the largest group of individuals living with HIV/AIDS in the United States.

About the Campaign

Abbott and the Magic Johnson Foundation are joining forces to address the alarming rate of HIV/AIDS in the African-American community. Over the last two years:

  • The initiative has provided free HIV testing to more than 23,000 Americans in major cities with large African American populations and reached nearly 250 million people with educational information about HIV, risk factors associated with the disease, the importance of HIV testing, knowing your status, and how to care for yourself or someone you know living with the disease.
  • More than 88,000 individuals have enrolled in the program and receive regular newsletters and communication from Magic Johnson about how to stay informed about the disease.

About the Magic Johnson Foundation

The Magic Johnson Foundation was established in 1991 as a single-disease organization that works to raise funds for community-based organizations dealing with HIV/AIDS education and prevention programs.

The Foundation has since responded to the growing need to address all aspects of our youth's lives by expanding its mission. This expanded mission emphasizes the Foundation's focus on supporting community-based organizations and development programs that serve the health, educational and social needs of those residing in minority communities. This year, the Foundation has supplied grants to the following organizations: Iris House in Harlem, N.Y.; Children's Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; Sun Downstate in Brooklyn, N.Y.; AmASSI and Common Ground in Los Angeles.

About Abbott

Abbott has been a leader in HIV/AIDS research since the early years of the epidemic. In 1985, the company developed the first licensed test to detect HIV antibodies in the blood and remains a leader in HIV diagnostics. Abbott retroviral and hepatitis tests are used to screen more than half of the world's donated blood supply. Abbott has developed two protease inhibitors for the treatment of HIV.

Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs more than 68,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's Web site at www.abbott.com.

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