MAGIC JOHNSON AND CHILDREN'S CONCEPTIONS OF AIDS.

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      The article discusses the results of a longitudinal study of the long-term effects of basketball player Magic Johnson's announcement on children's HIV and AIDS conceptions. On November 7, 1991, Magic Johnson announced he had contracted the AIDS virus through heterosexual acts with numerous partners. At the time it was thought the attendant news and publicity would help AIDS prevention. This was especially true in comparison with other celebrities whose medical condition had been disclosed prior to that time but whose age, race and/or apparent sexual preference might have reduced their appeal to particular groups. One important opportunity presented by Johnson's announcement was support for taking AIDS prevention programs to young, elementary school-aged children. With his wide recognition, it was believed that Johnson would be the kind of messenger who might successfully increase child AIDS awareness and knowledge as well as reduce AIDS-related anxiety and prejudice. The data were collected during the first and second waves of a longitudinal study of child and parent knowledge and beliefs about HIV and AIDS.