Monday, April 2, 2012

Magic Johnson: Science & Politics of HIV/AIDS Research After His Announcement

A biomedical engineer and political scientist joined the Miami Heat Index to discuss their examination of how the science and politics of HIV/AIDS research has changed since Magic Johnson announced his retirement from the NBA due to HIV.

Podcast Details

Podcasters: Miami Heat Index, Dr. Manu O. Platt and Dr. Matthew B. Platt
Recorded: April 1, 2012 at 2:24 PM ET
Duration: 39:41
How to Listen: Play the audio embedded below, download the mp3 or subscribe to iTunes

Companion Reading

The podcasters discussed the questions, topics and articles listed below during the HEATcast.
  • State of HIV/AIDS research from 1981-1991
  • Congressional policy on HIV/AIDS research from 1981-1991
  • "The Announcement" by ESPN Films
  • Magic got married so he could have someone to “share in all the pressure and things he goes through in life.” Is it a coincidence that LeBron James got engaged after losing the NBA Finals last season?
  • Wilt Chamberlain's claim of having sex with 20,000 women preceded Magic's announcement.
  • How is it possible that Magic's wife, Cookie, was HIV-negative?
  • Cookie Johnson is the O.G. of Basketball Wives.
  • Do you remember where you were when Magic made "The Announcement"?
  • What impact did Ryan White have on the politics of HIV/AIDS in comparison to Magic's announcement? 
  • David Ho said in the documentary that Magic’s immune system has become indistinguishable from a normal person. How did that happen and does it mean he’s been cured of HIV?
  • Given the scientific advances made in HIV/AIDS research and treatment, why is AIDS the #1 killer of black women age 25-30 for nearly the last 20 years? The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics by Cathy Cohen provides some answers.
  • Despite the scientific progress made in HIV/AIDS treatment that is evident in Magic, politics tends to be a greater driver of congressional agenda setting than science. Is Magic's case a combination of science and politics that can drive change?
  • What’s the role and reputation of the Magic Johnson Foundation in HIV/AIDS research and politics?

If you enjoyed the podcast, the Platt brothers will be presenting their research, "From GRID to Gridlock: The Relationship Between Scientific Breakthroughs and HIV/AIDS Policy in the U.S. Congress" in a Poster Exhibition at the XIX International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C on Monday, July 23rd. The abstract should be available at the conference's website on Sunday, July 22nd.

This podcast was inspired by E.J. Fischer.

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