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Gay former NFL player comes out as HIV-positive

Gay former NFL player comes out as HIV-positive

Roy Simmons, a former linebacker for the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants who came out of the closet in 1992, is now disclosing that he is HIV-positive, The New York Times reports. Simmons, 47, is only the second professional team athlete--current or retired--to acknowledge being HIV-positive. Magic Johnson was the first to do so. Simmons, who says he seroconverted in 1997, told the Times that he hopes that by telling his story he will help prevent other men, especially blacks, from staying in the closet about their status and putting their partners at risk. "I'm sure there are those out there who are suffering, and if I help just one person, it's worth it," he said. "You have to free yourself and let it go. The secrecy and all that stuff brings on sickness."

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