Johnson - one of the world's greatest basketball players - announced that he was retiring from the sport.
But in the two decades since, his strong health and his dedication to HIV awareness have helped change the picture for others who are HIV-positive and how America deals with AIDS.
With a regimen of medication and a healthy lifestyle, Johnson has been able to keep from developing full-blown AIDS.
However, he is mindful that the virus is always with him. He told the Los Angeles Times, "the virus is still in my body, but it's asleep."
The Magic Johnson Foundation has been active promoting HIV testing and awareness around the country.
And today, it marked a new direction, launching Point Forward Day, a national day of awareness.
It also announced free testing in many cities, plus new commitments to issues like literacy and reading readiness.
You can find locations for the free testing at: Magic Johnson Foundation.