Magic Johnson Reacts To Living With Hiv For 30
Lansing, Mich. On November 7th nearly 30-years ago, a retired Los Angeles Lakers star Earvin Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV.
Johnson grew up in Lansing, Michigan, and was drafted to the Los Angeles Lakers. However, ever since he was diagnosed with HIV he returned to the NBA and was even involved with other areas of work.
Johnson reacted to his HIV diagnosis on a social media post today.
According to the CDC, 1,123 people in the age group of 60 to 64 are living with HIV.
Nearly 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV, and 13 percent of the population does not know about their diagnosis.
To learn more information regarding HIV click here.
Hiv Announcement And Olympics
After a physical before the 199192 NBA season, Johnson discovered that he had tested positive for HIV. In a press conference held on November 7, 1991, Johnson made a public announcement that he would retire immediately. He stated that his wife Cookie and their unborn child did not have HIV, and that he would dedicate his life to “battle this deadly disease”.
Johnson initially said that he did not know how he contracted the disease, but later acknowledged that it was through having numerous sexual partners during his playing career. He admitted to having “harems of women” and talked openly about his sexual activities because “he was convinced that heterosexuals needed to know that they, too, were at risk”. At the time, only a small percentage of HIV-positive American men had contracted it from heterosexual sex, and it was initially rumored that Johnson was gay or bisexual, although he denied both. Johnson later accused Isiah Thomas of spreading the rumors, a claim Thomas denied.
Johnson’s HIV announcement became a major news story in the United States, and in 2004 was named as ESPN’s seventh-most memorable moment of the previous 25 years. Many articles praised Johnson as a hero, and the then-U.S. President George H. W. Bush said, “For me, Magic is a hero, a hero for anyone who loves sports.”
The Lakers Legend Remembers How Telling His Wife Was The Most Difficult Part Of Being Diagnosed With Hiv
Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson has become a living testament to advances in medicine that have turned human immunodeficiency virus from a death sentence into something that can be managed and lived with. While Johnson can now attest to 30 years of life after being diagnosed with HIV, his journey living with the disease has been far from easy.
During an appearance on CBS Mornings, Magic Johnson discussed living with HIV three decades after he was initially diagnosed with the virus prior to the 1991-92 NBA season. Johnson remembered the devastation of his diagnosis, and said that the most difficult part was having to tell his wife Cookie — who he had just married, and whom had just become pregnant with their child.
“It was hard because I loved her so much and I hated to hurt her,” Magic Johnson said.
Its still the toughest thing Ive ever had to do in my life: says that he hated having to tell his wife about his HIV diagnosis. But 30 years later, the NBA legend is still pursuing his passions, with Cookie by his side.
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In the years that followed, Johnson was extremely fortunate in being able to live with and manage the virus with treatments available at the time, in particular before the 1996 release of a potent triple-combination therapy that has prolonged the lives of many with HIV, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
I knew many people, many of whom were friends of mine, who were infected at the same timebut their disease progressed so rapidly that by the time optimal therapy was available, they had already passed away, says Fauci, who was among those who counseled Johnson after his diagnosis.
The human immunodeficiency virus , and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome which it can cause, had entered the mainstream American lexicon a decade earlier, when doctors began seeing increasing numbers of young, seemingly healthy men presenting with a form of pneumonia typically seen in immunocompromised individuals. In the early 1980s, as researchers scrambled to understand and treat the virus, the number of infections continued to climband AIDS was fatal for virtually everyone diagnosed with it. By 1991, it had claimed more than 100,000 lives, according to statistics on known cases.
Rivalry With Larry Bird
Johnson and Bird were first linked as rivals after Johnson’s Michigan State squad defeated Bird’s Indiana State team in the 1979 NCAA finals. The rivalry continued in the NBA, and reached its climax when Boston and Los Angeles met in three out of four NBA Finals from 1984 to 1987. Johnson asserted that for him, the 82-game regular season was composed of 80 normal games, and two LakersCeltics games. Similarly, Bird admitted that Johnson’s daily box score was the first thing he checked in the morning.
Several journalists hypothesized that the JohnsonBird rivalry was so appealing because it represented many other contrasts, such as the clash between the Lakers and Celtics, between Hollywood flashiness and Boston/Indiana blue collar grit , and between blacks and whites. The rivalry was also significant because it drew national attention to the faltering NBA. Prior to Johnson and Bird’s arrival, the NBA had gone through a decade of declining interest and low TV ratings. With the two future Hall of Famers, the league won a whole generation of new fans, drawing both traditionalist adherents of Bird’s dirt court Indiana game and those appreciative of Johnson’s public park flair. According to sports journalist Larry Schwartz of ESPN, Johnson and Bird saved the NBA from bankruptcy.
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How Does Johnson Stay So Healthy
In the years since his diagnosis, Johnson has defied the stereotypes surrounding HIV and AIDS. Hes been surprisingly candid about how he got the disease, admitting to hundreds of random, unprotected sexual encounters while on the road during the 80s.
Although other players have spread the rumor that Johnson was gay or even bisexual, Johnson has dedicated himself to educating people about HIV and AIDS. He did a series of promotional videos in the 90s and even wrote a book on the subject. Its been almost 30 years since his initial diagnosis. The question often comes up, How does he stay so healthy?
The truth is, there isnt really a secret, according to Live Science. Johnson is not alone in having survived with the disease for so long The key is preventing HIV from progressing into AIDS through a cocktail of medications and enzymes that arrest its development. If anything, the only secret is that Johnson was on the pioneering edge of that cocktail, and had early access to what has become a standard treatment in the modern era.
Magic Johnson Opens Up About His Health Career 30 Years After Hiv Diagnosis: You Just Sit There And Say What Does This Mean Am I Gonna Die
When Magic Johnson’s iconic basketball career was interrupted by a stunning HIV diagnosis three decades ago, the newlywed NBA legend had no idea how much time he had to live or how the virus would affect his wife and their unborn child.
“You just sit there and say, what does this mean? Am I gonna die?'” he told “CBS Mornings” co-host Gayle King.
Johnson, who remains HIV-undetectable to this day, opened up about living with the virus and his career in an exclusive interview for “CBS Mornings” nearly 30 years after he publicly announced his HIV diagnosis.
Today, the Lakers star is a loving father and grandfather, a successful businessman, a philanthropist and the CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. He and Cookie have been together throughout this time, and neither she nor their son, Earvin Johnson III, have HIV.
At the time of his diagnosis, Johnson thought the virus was a death sentence.
“I had to really learn a lot about the disease, HIV as well as AIDS. I had to make sure that I was open-minded enough to ask a lot of questions, go get a lot of information from different people,” he said.
Johnson first learned of his diagnosis after a routine physical ahead of the 1991-92 NBA season. He was called back home from a pre-season game in Utah, so that Lakers team physician Dr. Michael Mellman could deliver the news in person. When Johnson first heard the news, he was “devastated,” he said.
His wife remembers that moment too.
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Magic Johnson Has Aids Virus
From Tribune wire and local reports
Basketball star Magic Johnson of the Los Angeles Lakers has tested positive for the AIDS virus and is retiring from the game, The Associated Press and CNN reported today.
A very high official with the team confirmed the retirement and said that Johnson is a very sick man.
Johnson, 32, was to make the announcement this afternoon at a news conference at the Forum in Inglewood, where he dazzled fans for 12 seasons with his brilliance and captivating smile.
The Lakers wouldnt confirm the nature of the news conference, but several sources close to the team said Johnson would retire because he had tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS.
Johnson, from Lansing, Mich., was married in his home state on Sept. 14 to longtime girlfriend Cookie Kelly. He has a son, Andre, who lives in Lansing.
He missed the Lakers first three games this season because of what was described as the flu. On Monday, he was cleared to begin practicing.
Johnson, who led the Lakers to five NBA championships and won three NBA Most Valuable Player awards, would probably be playing again within a week, the speculation went, but then came word that he had tested positive.
At 6-foot-9, Johnson revolutionized the point-guard position after leading Michigan State to the NCAA championship as a sophomore in 1979.
He leaves the game with a league-record 9,921 assists, having broken Oscar Robertsons career standard last season.
Magic Johnson Credits God For Strength Guidance Three Decades After Hiv Diagnosis
At a shocking press conference on November 7, 1991, NBA legend Earvin Magic Johnson revealed he had HIV and was retiring from basketball. Thirty years later, Magic Johnson took to social media to acknowledge and thank the Lord for keeping me, giving me strength, and guiding me for 62 years but especially the last 30.
Johnson, a Hall of Fame point guard who won five championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, also shared how the experience affected him spiritually. Through it all I learned to trust in Jesus and I learned to trust in God! he tweeted Sunday, after noting that the bishop at his church preached a message about Victory Over Affliction.
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Magic Johnsons Life Now
Thanks to the invention of the triple-drug cocktail to treat HIV/AIDS positive individuals in 1995, Magic Johnson was able to avoid the agonizing and drawn-out deaths that were suffered by the likes of Eazy E and Freddie Mercury.
While he is still HIV positive as there is no cure for the virus, Johnson has been able to live a relatively normal life. His wife Cookie and son EJ remain HIV negative.
When Basketball Lost Its Smile: 30 Years Since Magic Johnson Retired Due To Hiv Diagnosis
Continues to be an ambassador for the disease
Thirty years have passed since Magic Johnson shocked not just the NBA world but the sports world when he announced that he would be retiring due to having tested positive for HIV, something which at the time was akin to a death sentence.
In a pre-internet and social media society, the news still had the power to shock on a wide scale and remains one of the most memorable moments in basketball history.
Johnson was 32 years old and at the height of his powers when he had to step away from the court. He would return for the Olympics the following year and attempt to continue his NBA career, but protests from his fellow players helped put paid to that.
“I think sometimes we think only gay people can get it,” Johnson told reporters at a press conference to announce his retirement in November 1991.
“I am saying that it can happen to anybody, even me.
“Life is going to go on for me, and I’m going to be a happy man.”
Johnson went on to become a spokesperson for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention.
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Cookie Johnson On Coming To Terms With Her Son Being Gay
The couple never kept it secret that their son, Earvin Johnson III, who goes by E.J., is gay, but Cookie and Magic Johnson explained how they came to terms with it.
I have pictures of all the Little League stuff I put him in and the baseball teams and the football teams. And it just wasn’t his thing. Ultimately you want your child to be happy, she said.
But I also knew that Earvin didn’t understand. And I was still trying to figure it out. I’m not going to sit here and say that I understood that he was gay at that time, because I didn’t. I just knew that this is what made him happy. And as time went on, it never changed.
Magic said he had a change of heart after a tough conversation with his son.
I had to come to realize that this is who he is, and he’s going to be happy. And so why am I judging him? Magic said. Im his father, so I got to be the first one to say, It’s OK and I love you. Now, how can I help you?”
E.J. went public with his sexual orientation in 2013 and owned his public debut as the news was picked up by entertainment sites. E.J. went on to become a reality star of Es Rich Kids of Beverly Hills and his own spinoff show, EJNYC, which premiered this summer.
Relationship With Jerry Buss
Magic Johnson had an extremely close relationship with Lakers owner Jerry Buss, whom he saw as a mentor and a father figure. Calling Buss his “second father” and “one of best friends”, Johnson spent five hours visiting Buss at the hospital just a few months before his death from cancer. Speaking to media just hours after Buss had died, Johnson was emotional, saying, “Without Dr. Jerry Buss, there is no Magic.” Buss acquired the team from Jack Kent Cooke in 1979, shortly before he drafted Johnson with the #1 pick in the 1979 NBA draft. In addition to playing 13 seasons for the Lakers and coaching the team briefly in 1994, Johnson also had an ownership stake in the team for nearly twenty years. Buss took a special interest in Johnson, introducing him to important Los Angeles business contacts and showing him how the Lakers organization was run, before eventually selling Johnson a stake in the team in 1994. Johnson credits Buss with giving him the business knowledge that enabled him to become part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
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Magic Johnsons Nba Career
The NBA decided the 1980s, and Magic Johnsons career, with a coin flip. This is IF___ THEN___
Earvin Magic Johnson came from a close-knit, hard-working family in Michigan. Coming out of high school, Johnson showed immense talent and was highly-recruited by top tier schools such as UCLA, but he instead chose Michigan State because it had a high level of talented players already on the team. It was during college that he learned how to successfully play point guard under coach Jud Heathcote.
After a prolific college career, Johnson cemented himself as the top college player in the country in 1979 when he faced and defeated Bird and Indiana State. As a result, he was the No. 1 draft pick that year. Beginning in 1979, Johnson played a total of 13 seasons, all with the Lakers. He became the most dominant name in the NBA, averaging an incredible 19.5 points and seven rebounds per game.
Johnson won the NBA championship four times, established LA as a dynasty, played in 12 All-Star games, and participated in the 1992 Olympics as part of the fabled Dream Team. His pro career also spawned one of the greatest, ongoing rivalries in sports between the Lakers and the Celtics.
Battles Against The Celtics
In the 198485 regular season, Johnson averaged 18.3 points, 12.6 assists, and 6.2 rebounds per game, and led the Lakers into the 1985 NBA Finals, where they faced the Celtics again. The series started poorly for the Lakers when they allowed an NBA Finals record 148 points to the Celtics in a 34-point loss in Game 1. However, Abdul-Jabbar, who was now 38 years old, scored 30 points and grabbed 17 rebounds in Game 2, and his 36 points in a Game 5 win were instrumental in establishing a 32 lead for Los Angeles. After the Lakers defeated the Celtics in six games, Abdul-Jabbar and Johnson, who averaged 18.3 points on .494 shooting, 14.0 assists, and 6.8 rebounds per game in the championship series, said the Finals win was the highlight of their careers.
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