NBA educates teams, players about AIDS

November 21, 1991|By Newsday

In the wake of Magic Johnson's revelation that he has the virus that causes AIDS, the NBA is moving aggressively to educate teams and players about the disease.

The NBA informed its 27 teams Monday that Dr. David E. Rogers, a Cornell University professor, has been hired as a consultant on AIDS. Rogers is the vice chairman of the National Commission on AIDS. Johnson recently was named to the panel.

"We want to make sure we're fully briefed on all the issues," said NBA senior vice president Gary Bettman. "And we want to make sure the players and team personnel are appropriately educated and counseled on the subject. This is an issue that, like most of society, we needed to be educated on. And when you need to be educated, you get an expert."

Dr. Rogers also is the chairman of the Governor's Advisory Council of the AIDS Institute of New York and a former dean of the medical facility at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore.

NBA teams also have been told to notify players that the regular 24-hour hot line, manned by personnel connected with the NBA's anti-drug program, also can dispense AIDS information. If a player requests a test, it will be private and confidential. The NBA players association is setting up a voluntary testing program, which it expects to complete in the next two weeks.

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