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HIV & SPORTS: What Have We Learned?

HIV and AIDS Through The Years

November 03, 1996

1986

JERRY SMITH (Deceased)

DIED: Oct. 15, 1986

AGE: 43

A former tight end, Smith played for the Washington Redskins from 1965-1977. He caught 421 passes for 5,496 yards and 60 touchdowns in a 13-year career. He would not state how he contracted the disease.

*

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS: September--The National Cancer Institute announces that AZT, an anti-viral drug, blocks HIV.

1987

THOMAS WADDELL (Deceased)

DIED: July 11, 1987

AGE: 49

The sixth-place finisher in the 1968 Olympic decathlon, Waddell later became the organizer of the first Gay Olympics held in San Francisco. He said he contracted the disease through homosexual sex.

*

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS: March--FDA licenses AZT.

1989

ONDREJ NEPELA (Deceased)

DIED: Feb. 2, 1989

AGE: 38

Nepela became Czechoslovakia's first Olympic figure skating champion when he won the men's title at the 1972 Winter Games. He reigned as world champion from 1971 to 1973 and and won five European titles between 1969 and 1973. The cause of infection was never disclosed.

ESTEBAN DEJESUS (Deceased)

DIED: May 11, 1989

AGE: 37

A former World Boxing Council lightweight champion, DeJesus died after acquiring AIDS during the early 1980s while serving a life sentence in prison for the fatal shooting of a teenager in 1981. He said he contracted the disease via intravenous drug use.

TIM RICHMOND (Deceased)

DIED: Aug. 13, 1989

AGE: 34

Richmond's stock car racing career was cut short by controversy and illness. He drove Indy cars and was the Indy 500 rookie of the year in 1980 before switching to stock cars. He had 13 career victories. Richmond said he contracted AIDS through heterosexual sex.

1991

ALAN WIGGINS (Deceased)

DIED: Jan. 6, 1991

AGE: 32

A former San Diego Padre and Baltimore Oriole, Wiggins batted .258, scored 106 runs and stole a club-record 70 bases during the 1984 regular season, and then batted .316 during the playoffs and .364 during the World Series for the Padres. His career was shortened when he was indefinitely suspended from the league for drug-related problems. He said he contracted the disease through intravenous drug use.

MAGIC JOHNSON (Living)

Nov. 7, 1991--Announces he is HIV-positive. Former Laker superstar led the team to nine NBA finals and five titles. He said he contracted HIV through heterosexual sex.

*

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS: October--AIDS drug DDI approved.

1993

ARTHUR ASHE (Deceased)

DIED: Feb. 6, 1993

AGE: 49

Ashe was the only African-American man to win the Wimbledon championship and the U.S. Open. Ashe became HIV-positive after receiving an unscreened blood transfusion in 1983 during his second open heart surgery.

RUBEN PALACIO (Living)

April 1993--Palacio, a boxer, tests HIV-positive. The former World Boxing Organization featherweight champion is stripped of his title. He is currently serving a prison term or importing heroin. The cause of infection has not been disclosed.

*

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS: June--International AIDS conference in Berlin urges prevention efforts.

1994

JOHN CURRY (Deceased)

DIED: April 15, 1994

AGE: 44

A former Olympic and world champion whose artistry on ice revolutionized figure skating, he said he contracted the disease through homosexual sex.

STEVE BURDETT (Deceased)

DIED: July 14, 1994

AGE: 31

A former Sportsman division driver at Saugus Speedway, he said he contracted the disease through homosexual sex.

*

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

February--AIDS drug AZT protects fetuses from AIDS.

August--International AIDS meeting in Japan.

1995

GREG LOUGANIS (Living)

February 1995--Announces that he has AIDS. Only Olympic male diver to win gold medals in platform and springboard events at consecutive Olympics. He won four gold medals at the 1984 and 1988 Summer Olympics, before retiring in 1988. He tested HIV-positive six months before the 1988 Olympics. He said he contracted the disease through homosexual sex.

GLENN BURKE (Deceased)

DIED: May 30, 1995

AGE: 42

A former Dodger and Oakland Athletic player who claimed that he was blackballed from baseball or being gay, Burke spent several of his last years on the streets of San Francisco and in San Quentin Prison for drug-related offenses. He said he contracted the disease through homosexual sex.

PAUL BANKE (Living)

July 1995--Banke, a boxer, is diagnosed HIV-positive. A former World Boxing Council super-bantamweight champion with a reputation for wild fights and wild living, he was diagnosed with AIDS in August 1995. Banke thinks he contracted the virus as a result of his frequent drug use and sexual activity.

*

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

February--Protease inhibitor drugs found to block viral reproduction. Also, in February, the first reports that "cocktails" of anti-AIDS drugs are more effective than individual drugs alone.

November--AIDS drug 3TC approved.

December--Natural chemokines that block HIV replication discovered in white blood cells. Also, Saquinavir, first protease inhibitor, is approved.

1996

TOMMY MORRISON (Living)

February 1996--Morrison, a heavyweight boxer, tests HIV-positive. In 1993 he won a 12-round decision over George Foreman for the World Boxing Organization heavyweight crown. Morrison's record is 45-3-1 with 39 knockouts. He retired briefly but returned to the ring. He said he contracted the infection through heterosexual sex.

BILL GOLDSWORTHY (Deceased)

DIED: March 29, 1996

AGE: 51

A five-time NHL all-star, Goldsworthy played 10 seasons with the Minnesota North Stars from 1967 through 1977. He said he contracted the infection through heterosexual sex.

*

MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS:

January--Cocktails of antiviral agents and protease inhibitors halt HIV replication, hinting at long-term control.

March--AIDS drug Ritonavir approved

June--Second HIV receptor on cells identified: CKR5.

July--International AIDS meeting in Canada. Researchers optimistic that AIDS can be converted into a manageable disease.

August--Mutation in CKR5 gene explains why some HIV-positive people survive longer.

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