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LOS ANGELES — The Magic Johnson Foundation on Monday initiated Point Forward Day, marking 20 years to the date that Johnson announced his HIV status and subsequent retirement from the National Basketball Association.
In partnership with AIDS Healthcare Foundation, MJF will host free confidential testing events at retailers, including Walgreens in Chicago. At select locations, testing will include participation from government officials, dignitaries and athletes who will lead their communities by getting tested first at on site mobile units.
From 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Nov. 7, in partnership with Beyond Care and South Side Health Center, Walgreens will be providing 12 straight hours of free HIV screenings at their new flagship store at 75th and State. People who stop by during the day will be able to receive testing, counseling and will be entered into a raffle for valuable prizes, including Jay-Z tickets, Walgreens gift cards and a basketball signed by Magic Johnson to mark the occasion. Power 92 will be broadcasting from the Walgreens from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and the Soul 106.3 Van will be on hand from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. to provide music and raffles.
Johnson has donated a signed basketball that will be raffled off to all participants who are screened that day. Other prizes will be awarded during the day including concert tickets and Walgreens $100 cash cards.
"Not only will the participants be able to take advantage of free HIV screenings, but our medical experts will also be available to provide immediate information on treatments and overall healthy living," Walgreens director of community affairs John Gremer said. "We look forward to partnering with the Magic Johnson Foundation to create more Walgreens Community Empowerment Centers in our own backyard."
Additionally, mobile testing units will be available across the United States, including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, San Antonio, Hampton, Va., Wilton Manors, Fla., Marrero, La. and Washington, D.C.
Point Forward Day is made possible through the generosity of its title sponsor, Wells Fargo, which has been a long time support of the Magic Johnson Foundation. Best Buy, Cisco, FedEx, Grockit, IBM, AEG and Walgreens will be providing additional local and national support through technical assistance, employee engagement and in-kind contributions.
Celebrities and athletes are joining the campaign through a social media initiative aimed at raising awareness about HIV/AIDS. Dwayne Wade, Ludacris, Justin Bieber, Kobe Bryant, Adrian Peterson, Pau Gasol, Paula Abdul, Steve Nash, Monique Coleman, Faith Evans, Blair Underwood and more are pledging their support through Facebook, Twitter and Tout and encouraging fans to get tested on Point Forward Day.