Magic Johnson Joins Board of California-Based Biomedical Company To Raise Awareness of HIV Urine Test
Earvin "Magic" Johnson, the basketball legend who led the Los Angeles Lakers to five NBA championships in the 1980s and who "shocked" the world in 1991 when he announced he was HIV-positive, has agreed to join the board of directors of the Alameda, Calif.-based Calypte Biomedical Corp. to raise awareness of the company's HIV urine test, the Contra Costa Times reports. In a statement, Johnson said that he was "amazed" that so few people were aware of the urine test, according to the Times. "The fear of a blood test is one of the biggest reasons why more people don't get tested," he said, adding, "Now, with Calypte's urine test, there are no more excuses." According to the Times, Johnson has become one of the "most prominent" spokespersons for HIV/AIDS awareness since his 1991 announcement. Richard Brounstein, Calypte's chief financial officer, said that Johnson's decision to join the board "is very significant to us." He added, "When we have been out to talk about our urine test, everybody likes the story. Our biggest problem is a little-known company getting that story told. I can't think of a more recognizable spokesman or figure to tell our story" (Avalos, Contra Costa Times, 4/30).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.