16 Historical Figures You Didn’t Know Had STDs

By Trista

Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, have been around for a long time. In fact, there are probably quite a few people from your history textbooks that suffered from STDs, particularly syphilis, gonorrhea, and, more recently, AIDS. These diseases can range in severity from uncomfortable to life-threatening and cause all kinds of problems in-between, including dementia, confusion, itching, painful urination, heart problems, and more.

Consider that Adolf Hitler may have had syphilis, which likely contributed to his paranoia, feelings of grandiosity, and bouts of rage. It is mind-blowing is to think about how STDs may have changed the course of history and have an impact on your own life today, whether you suffer from one or not. Read on to find out more about historical figures who had confirmed the rumors.

Professional NBA player Magic Johnson. Biography.

1. Magic Johnson

Earvin “Magic” Johnson earned his nickname due to the proficiency with which he played basketball. He was one of America’s premier basketball players throughout the 1980s and retired from the LA Lakers in 1991 because he had tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which causes AIDS.

Johnson’s announcement, which came as a shock to not only his fans but to much of America, was possibly the best thing that happened to the AIDS community. Throughout the 1980s, the disease was spreading rampantly in inner cities but was largely ignored because it was deemed a “gay man’s disease.” With Magic Johnson’s announcement HIV and AIDS were thrust into the limelight as epidemics that were ravaging the country, as well as other parts of the world.

Magic Johnson went on to play for the US Dream Team at the Summer Olympics in Barcelona in 1992. However, he did not return to playing professional basketball because of the stigma associated with the virus. In the time since, the professional basketball player has gone on to other ventures, including opening several Starbucks franchises, running various real estate holdings, and publishing multiple books. He runs a company called Magic Johnson Holdings and, in 2009, was inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame.