When Magic Johnson announced to the world that he was infected with HIV in November of 1991, he instantly became the face of the virus.
But not to long after he made his announcement, the world focused its eyes on another face: a sweet, 7-year-old girl who had a hard time dealing with her HIV-positive status.
During a taping of a Nickelodeon AIDS special that focused on informing youth that the virus can affect anyone, Hydeia Broadbent sat bravely near Johnson among a group of younger children sharing how hard it was for her to deal with negative perceptions of the virus and the teasing she experienced over it. But then she broke down and, fighting through her tears, told him “I want people to know that we’re just normal people.”
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He put his massive hand on her tiny shoulder and told her, “Aww, you don’t have to cry. Because we are normal people. OK? We are.”
Now, some 20 years later, Hydeia and Magic continue to be very powerful voices for people living with HIV, CNN reports. Magic became infected because he had unprotected sex. And Hydeia was a victim of the virus because of her drug-using mother. Both reunited back in March during a Los Angeles screening of “The Announcement”, a documentary about his coming forward about his HIV status. Hydeia’s tearful moment during the Nickelodeon special was replayed during the documentary.
WATCH Magic And Hydeia Talk About HIV 20 Years Ago (Timed at 8:22 in clip)