HIV transmission and sports: Realities and recommendations

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences

Publication Date



In sports, AIDS has become a paramount concern, chiefly in contact sports such as football, wrestling, hockey, and basketball. The announcements by Ervin "Magic" Johnson in 1991, Greg Louganis in 1995, and Tommy Morrison in 1996 of being HIV-positive shocked the world.

Yet Society must understand that athletes are not a distinct population. They are as susceptible as anyone else to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), a virus capable of killing helper T-cells of the human immune system.

With professional and Olympic athletes bringing the gravity of AIDS (a disease of the immune system caused by HIV infection) to the forefront of public awareness, the educational system, particularly high school athletics, must now contend with the AIDS issue at its own level. This article discusses the relative risks of allowing HIV-positive athletes to compete in high school sports.


This article was originally published in Strength and Conditioning Journal. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

Due to copyright restrictions, this article is not available for free download from ScholarWorks @ CWU.


Strength and Conditioning Journal


© 1998 National Strength & Conditioning Association