Ashe's Sad, Stunning AIDS Announcement

A second major sports figure goes public about his infection

HE DIDN'T INDULGE IN HIGH-RISK OR HIGH-VOLUME sex. He didn't shoot drugs. Tennis superstar Arthur Ashe simply lay down on an operating table in 1983 to undergo heart-bypass surgery, and when he got up he had contracted HIV -- the AIDS virus.

Ashe, 48, found out about the infection in 1988. Until last week he kept quiet, figuring that, unlike basketball superstar Magic Johnson, he was no longer a public figure. But USA Today approached him to confirm what had until then been a rumor, and Ashe reluctantly spoke up.

It was just bad luck that Ashe underwent major surgery after...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!