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Magic Johnson Is NOT Cured of HIV

June 10, 2011

Justin B. Terry-Smith

Justin B. Terry-Smith

I repeat: Magic Johnson is NOT cured of HIV. In 1991, Johnson retired from the NBA almost immediately after he made a brave public announcement that he had contracted HIV. A good friend of mine, Jason, fell into a brief debate with his co-workers on Magic Johnson and HIV.

The co-workers had stated that they thought that Magic Johnson was cured of HIV. Jason had told them that for a fact that was not true. In the co-workers' opinions the reason why Magic Johnson was cured of HIV was because he wasn't dead yet. They didn't believe that someone could live that long with HIV.

YES in the late '80's and early '90's many people saw HIV/AIDS as a death sentence, but today this is not true. Johnson is still alive today, but he is still infected with the virus that causes AIDS. He is NOT cured, because there is no cure yet. There is only one time where science has found that a bone marrow transplant made it possible for a man to live HIV free, and that's the case of the "Berlin Patient."

A lot of Black heterosexual people think that Magic Johnson has been cured of HIV and sometimes that can lead to dangerous behaviors. Some people say that, "Oh so Magic Johnson's been cured of HIV so I can have unprotected sex again" ... NOT. This is not the truth at all. My wish is that people keep protecting themselves against HIV. Prevention right now should be one of our top priorities since there is no cure at the moment.

I also wanted to say to Magic Johnson to please speak out and tell people that you are not cured, but that you are still living a long and healthy life with the virus that causes AIDS. People need to know, Mr. Johnson, so they can keep protecting themselves. We (the HIV community) are behind you.

On another note: People do use Magic Johnson a lot for their examples of someone who is living healthy with HIV, which I think is great. But please understand that not all of us have the resources that he does to live healthy lives. There are organizations out there that help out with food, medications, housing etc. and we as HIV positive people need them. But it is almost a slap in the face to do such a "cost comparison."

Send Justin an e-mail.

Read Justin's blog, Justin's HIV Journal.


Related Stories

20 Years of Magic: How One Man's HIV Disclosure Inspired Others
13 Moments in Black Celebrity Activism
History's Biggest HIV-Positive Celebrities
More on Celebrities and HIV/AIDS


This article was provided by TheBody.com.


Reader Comments:

Comment by: Daniel Graham (Ranllostotnwn Md. 21133) Mon., Apr. 15, 2013 at 2:11 pm EDT
I will hilp you.
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Comment by: Dan (Jersey City) Sat., Dec. 31, 2011 at 10:41 am EST
It's not just that he has thrived: There was a news report in 1997 saying that the HIV virus was lowered to "undetectable levels." His doctors were very careful to say this was not a cure, but headlines in the tabloids may have overstated the good news--I remember seeing such a headline (and not believing it). http://www.nytimes.com/1997/04/05/sports/johnson-s-hiv-level-drops.html?scp=1&sq=magic%20johnson%20cured&st=cse
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Comment by: Laila (Atlanta) Sat., Dec. 3, 2011 at 8:07 am EST
Really ... a lot of black heterosexual people think this? Not just people?
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Comment by: necrotized (San Antonio) Mon., Nov. 28, 2011 at 4:40 pm EST
There was a documentary on T.V. dealing with this issue a few years back. It had to do with a young boy named, Cartman who was horribly infected by his friend, Kyle. They went to Magic to find out how he was cured. Interesting science. It was on an episode of "South Park".
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Comment by: Dekker451 (Tacoma) Sun., Nov. 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm EST
It's weird how there's all this talk about educating people and not spreading disinformation and yet people keep repeating the myth that HIV/AIDS is "not a death sentence"...oh but there's no real cure? You can't have it both ways.

It's true that anti-retroviral cocktails can increase life expectancy by up to 20 years, but that's a far cry from declaring that AIDS is no longer a terminal disease. For that matter, even with anti-retroviral treatment, over the long term HIV-infected patients may experience neurocognitive disorders, osteoporosis, neuropathy, cancers, nephropathy, and cardiovascular disease.

If you want to educate then first make sure you've got your facts straight.
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Comment by: Greg H. (Sheboygan Wisconsin) Tue., Nov. 1, 2011 at 9:43 am EDT
1. None of the manufacturers of the HIV tests guarantee the accuracy of their tests. In fact, they warn that their tests should not be used alone to determine if someone is HIV positive or negative. If the manufacturers of the HIV tests don't have confidence in their own product then why should Black People?

2. There are about 70 different things that can trigger a false positive result on HIV tests. These include vaccines such as for flu, hepatitis B and others. YES, if you recently had a vaccine, it can cause you to test positive on an HIV test! Even pregnancy can trigger a false positive response on an HIV test.

3. Test results vary over time. That is, you can test positive one day and go back to the same hospital or clinic a year later and test negative!
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Comment by: Jacob R (SF, CA) Mon., Oct. 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm EDT
Maybe show some restraint..condoms dont seem to be working!
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Comment by: Gerrold (Nocona, TX) Mon., Oct. 31, 2011 at 12:02 am EDT
Magic Johnson is a promiscuous, libertine retard who deserves to suffer. GWB SR made him head of a national AIDS program, but he did not have the mental capacity to handle it. He resigned, making the excuse that GWB Sr. was "dancing around the truth" about AIDS, but he never told us how Bush was dancing around the truth, or what the "truth" was. The truth is, he thought he could get a better job among the liberals Democrats and had a lot of anti-Republican baggage. So far, the liberals have not come begging this illiterate moron to take one of their sinecures.
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Comment by: Art (LA,Ca) Thu., Dec. 1, 2011 at 11:14 pm EST
What an idiot you are. GWB Sr made him head of an aids program, how do you dnow why Magic passed on it? Come up with a better one, he had then and now the mental capacity to handle it. It took a man not to mention why he didn't take it, maybe to protect GWB Sr's reasoning. Sounds as though you plain don't like Magic or maybe you're jealous. Terms like promiscuous, retard, illiterate moron etc. Those sound like a great resume to becoming a very sucessful busimess man and a basketball hall of famer that millions love. How does it feel being alone and not loved?


Comment by: Pete (Sacramento, CA) Sun., Oct. 23, 2011 at 2:27 am EDT
The reason people think Magic Johnson no longer has HIV is because his wife, Cookie, declared that Jesus had miraculously cured him.
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Comment by: Heather (Las Vegas NV) Fri., Jul. 1, 2011 at 7:18 pm EDT
I am a local social worker woring with HIV/AIDS patients. This is absolutley not true. Magic Johnson has an undetectable viral load (HIV virus copies) and a higher CD-4 count (army of defense. Just because one is told they are undetectable does not mean the person is "cured". This means in one drop of blood they could not find the virus and ist has to be above 20-50 copies to be considered detectable. The virus often lays dormant in the tissues of the erson and does not show high in the blood counts. So Justin, you are absolutely correct when you say he is NOT cured and NO ONE has been!
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jul. 6, 2011 at 3:03 pm EDT
Heather THank you so much for your posting this. As someone who works with HIV/AIDS patients I'm so glad you spoke out on this subject that way you did THANK YOU


Comment by: Jerome (Houston, TX) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 12:54 pm EDT
Good post but only slightly inaccurate. There are two confirmed cases of an HIV patient being HIV free after a bone marrow transplant. The first case was a Irish or Scottish patient (I don't remember which) but the guy was trying to "profit" from his cure and wouldn't let his doctors release any information until he was paid.

The other item I take exception with is that healthy living with HIV is so cost-prohibitive that only the super rich can do it. If I didn't have insurance when I was diagnosed I would agree with you about the cost of treatment but the cost of healthy living - eating right, exercising, avoiding vices (smoking, drugs, excessive drinking and the like) are generally free. Does it cost more to buy whole foods instead of processed foods? Usually but not always. But unless you're talking about the extreme poor, it is more of an inconvenience than it is a barrier.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 6:51 pm EDT
I never said only the super rich can do I said it makes it easier for him because he does have the resources to stay healthy

Yes I did speak about the Berlin patient yes he is cured but I also elaborated on how that cure is not, at least right now, accessible to be open to other people of other races because of the marrow transplants requirements


Comment by: skinfreak (washington, dc) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm EDT
Magic Johnson is the perfect example of how HIV is not a death sentence. There is no cure for HIV/AIDS but if protocol is followed, life can be normal. Medication must be taken and lifestyle must be adjusted the eliminate stress and fatigue. Protection during sexual activity is secondary only to medication. HIV can still be spread without proper precautions but advances in research allow for a longer life than 20 years ago. Education is also a very powerful weapon against the spread of the disease.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:06 pm EDT
skinfreak Thank you for posting this education is the key. As you can see from some of the comment people think that I'm dragging his name in the mud when I'm simply stating a fact.


Comment by: Roxanna S (Baltimore, MD) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 11:52 am EDT
Not only is the HIV community behind you, Mr. Johnson, the non-HIV community stands behind you as well.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:05 pm EDT
Roxanna Thank you for standing behind us.


Comment by: james j (cleveland) Sun., Jun. 26, 2011 at 5:37 pm EDT
i disagree.....God can and still heal people...maybe, just maybe, The Lord saw fit to heal him because of his status. and unfortuantly magic decided not to give the glory to God...but please sir do not minimize the healing that is available thru the atonement...please forgive my spelling.....
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm EDT
He himself has said he still has HIV so he is not cured.

Drink your juice Shelby


Comment by: Lloyd (Los Angeles, CA) Sun., Jun. 26, 2011 at 5:26 pm EDT

Hi, this article shows that people are ignorant when it comes to this deadly virus.

Having lived in San Francisco for years and having friends die of Aids, I know a lot about the dreadful disease. To begin with when you are HIV positive, that means that you have the virus but it is treatable; however, when you have full blown aids that is when your life expectancy lowers tremendously, but with proper medication and diet one can live for years with the deadly disease. A friend of mine had full blown aids, after 10 years with the disease he sadly passed away.

Magic Johnson has the virus but he does not have full blown aids, and he is rich so he gets all of the new pills and treatments that most common folks with the disease are not able to receive. No, Magic Johnson is not cured of HIV.


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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:04 pm EDT
Lloyd

Thank you for posting this man I thank you so much


Comment by: Janet (Granada Hills, CA) Sun., Jun. 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm EDT
I've been waiting for several years to find out how it is that Mr. Johnson, who was diagnosed HIV positive at almost the same time as my brother, is still alive and my brother died of AIDS in 1993.
If his diagnosis is correct, then why isn't he sharing his regimen with every other HIV positive person? Is it money? Celebrity?
I don't believe that there is a "one fits all" treatment, as with any disease; however, I find it hard to grasp that he has been living with this diagnosis for so many years, yet he isn't speaking out, loudly and clearly, about the specifics of how it is being managed.
I understand and respect his right to privacy, but in this day and age there are ways to disseminate information without becoming a national spokesperson.
So, Mr. Johnson, I'm putting the ball in your court. Offense or defense?
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Comment by: bartleby Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 2:26 pm EDT
actually he does, but what he takes is not what will work best for everybody. you need to find a regimen that works best for you and that requires talking to your doctor in depth about what your body can and can't handle.

from usatoday in 2006, magic had been living with HIV for 15 years at that point:

Johnson says he's anything but cured. He says he owes his well-being and quite possibly his life to the multidrug cocktail he takes everyday.

The drugs, GlaxoSmithKline's Trizivir and Abbott's Kaletra, are standard treatments used by many thousands of others infected with the AIDS virus, HIV.

Johnson can also credit luck and possibly the conditioning that comes from playing up to 100 heart-pounding NBA games a year.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2006-11-30-magic-aids_x.htm


when talking to magic's doctor, Dr. Ho, from the recent newsweek article about magic living 20 years with HIV:

In the beginning there were many pills he had to take several times a day. That's changed a great deal now, so he doesn't take but a few, and with fewer side effects. Johnson's drug regimen includes the pharmaceuticals Trizivir and Kaletra.

Ho says most of his conversations with Johnson these days are to make sure his patient is taking his medicine at the same time each day, a must for anyone with HIV. That's the challenge for Mr. Johnson because he is such a busy man all the time, says Ho. We work a lot on making that easier for him, but he understands how key the medicine is to his well-being. He's the poster child of success for living with HIV, because he understands what it takes to fight this virus, and he does it.
http://www.newsweek.com/2011/05/15/magic-johnson-20-years-of-living-with-hiv.html
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 29, 2011 at 4:36 pm EDT
Bartleby Thank you for this :-)
Comment by: Art (LA, Ca) Thu., Dec. 1, 2011 at 11:28 pm EST
I saw Majic recently speaking at his High School and he definately sai he would not mention what drugs he is taking because all drugs don't do the same thing for everyone. You and your doctor have to find oout what's right for you. How did you find out what he was taking, or are you just surmising?


Comment by: Erica (Columbia, SC) Sun., Jun. 26, 2011 at 9:08 am EDT
Justin I found this article interesting, but I didn't like that it seemed like you were saying that Magic should do more to promote awareness...he has done and continues to do a lot concerning HIV/AIDS awareness. People have so many resources available to them and the message is constantly being put out there to protect one's self. I don't know how much more can be done to educate people about the virus and/or disease. However, I don't feel like its Magic's responsibility to drill to Black folks to protect themselves!
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 29, 2011 at 4:33 pm EDT
You're probably right. BUT that fact remains that there are some people that think that he is cured of HIV which is wrong. It (the article) may be a little off based but I see what you are saying. Maybe it's just that people don't have the ability to access or don't want to access resources they need to protect themselves. What are your thoughts?


Comment by: Anonymous Sun., Jun. 26, 2011 at 4:03 am EDT
well if he has it,then don't that mean that his wife and kids have it.
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Comment by: bartleby Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm EDT
no, HIV is spread through unprotected sex, sharing needles and blood transfusions. barring any of that, his wife and kids can live with him without risk of infection. HIV is not spread through sharing utensils, plates or cups, touching the same surfaces, hugging, kissing or other casual contact. and it's certainly not spread through the air.
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 29, 2011 at 4:31 pm EDT
Abosolutely not.


Comment by: Bily W (Houston, TX) Sat., Jun. 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm EDT
The government needs to quit lying about HOW HIV is transmitted. Do you know any white heterosexual males with HIV? NO. Why not?

The disease is transmitted through recipient anal sex and recipient vaginal sex (possibly requires multiple exposure).

So if you are a straight male and not RECEIVING anal sex or sharing needles you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than HIV.

Of course you are still at risk for other STD's - but HIV. Come on now...

Let's start educating our children correctly instead of preaching based on religious fears of sexuality.

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Comment by: bartleby Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:46 pm EDT
um, yes, i know many white heterosexual males who have HIV. everybody is at risk for HIV no matter what sexuality, race or creed. straight males DO get HIV! if you want to educate our children correctly as you say, stop pretending like straight males or white folks are not at risk. they are.
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 29, 2011 at 4:30 pm EDT
THANK YOU BARTLEBY
Comment by: Annette (Boston, MA) Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 6:57 pm EST
As a seasoned RN, I'd like to clarify above as it is a confusion to many. The anal tissue and musculature is far better supplied with blood vessels (where the virus gets into the body)...than the vagina. Cross contamination can take place (as explained by bartleby above) with RECIPIENT anal and vaginal sex, but the physiology of anal and vaginal tissue is very much different, hence a far greater chance of contracting HIV is from EXCLUSIVELY anal sex! This can and should be verified online if any doubt exists.
One can also ask more about this of a person who has studied human Anatomy and Physiology in any detail.
Comment by: Annette (Boston, MA) Sat., Nov. 12, 2011 at 7:03 pm EST
CORRECTION on my post directly above: My apologies, but I meant my reference about "cross contamination; anal to vaginal," to be to in response to Billy W's comment above, (and not bartlebe's). Thank You.


Comment by: Jack B (Los Angeles, CA) Sat., Jun. 25, 2011 at 6:43 pm EDT
Magic as well as others who are infected with HIV have the advantage of a plethora of effective antiretroviral drugs which prevent the HIV virus from replicating as well as invading cells by either blocking the virus from entering a cell or disable's a protein such as integrase which the HIV virus needs in order to insert its viral genetic material into the genetic material of an infected cell. These drugs are very effective in lowering the viral load in the bloodstream to almost an undetectable level in some cases which is what allows individuals like Magic Johnson to live a longer, healthier life without progressing to AIDS which is what happens when the HIV virus is allowed to replicate unchecked which damages the immune system by killing off the CD4 T cells causing it to malfunction which in turn allows opportunistic infections like Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, Candidiasis, Kaposi's sarcoma, Cryptosporidiosis, Cytomegalovirus infection etc. However the person is not 'cured' they are only suppressing the virus to the point where it is not replicating enough to damage the immune system. They can still transmit the virus though, which is why you don't want to have unprotected sex with someone who is infected regardless of the 'drug cocktail' they are on! Magic also has the resources for the best medical money can buy and these antiretroviral drugs, especially the newer ones are very expensive and many who are without means are unable to afford such treatments which is a tragedy. It's scary nowadays because many people, especially teenagers are having sex with each other unprotected as if the HIV virus doesn't exist? I predict there will be another wave of infections and like a fire in a coal mine HIV will continue on it's burn across the planet sickening and killing many more victims! Don't become another victim, protect yourself!
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 29, 2011 at 4:29 pm EDT
THANK YOU FOR THIS MAN. I wish people would listen to people like you more than ignorance or denialism


Comment by: Teressa J (Atlanta Ga) Sat., Jun. 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm EDT
You stated that Majic Johnson is NOT cured, because there is no cure yet. Then soon thereafter you stated that there is only one time where science has found that a bone marrow transplant made it possible for a man to live HIV free, and that's the case of the "Berlin Patient."
So in all ACTUALITY there is a cure. The fact of the matter seems to be that is has not been used widespread as of yet. And the method used is new. Futhermore if your saying that people will stop using protection because they think Magic Johnson is cured but he is not. It would seemed more sensical that they would have unprotected sex because of reports that "the Berlin Patient" is cured since he REALLY is cured. In the meatime I think that it is wise to continue to use protection outside of monagamous relationship. Yet there is a reason to be be JOYFUL because someone has finally been CURED. PERIOD.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 29, 2011 at 4:28 pm EDT
Lets be frank there is no cure for any minority because the bone marrow transplant does not apply unless you are of a certain backround. The "CURE" you speak of is not universal. and like I say it is great that science has found this even for a small percentile of people.


Comment by: An Educator (California) Sat., Jun. 25, 2011 at 1:53 pm EDT
Let me clarify for some of you...Magic has had several conversations over the years to say he is NOT cured. He says he lives a very healthful and careful lifestyle which includes protecting himself, his wife and children in the best way possible. That means protected sex with his wife and safety precautions with family, loved ones and friends. I'm not sure where this article stems from, but educated people are not confused. The problem with HIV spreading is that - many people are NOT educated and end up getting the disease through false pretenses, poor self-control or lack of proper health education.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm EDT
Educator,
You don't have to clarify anything to me. I think that is great that he has had many conversations about living healthily with HIV, BUT obviously in some area with some people they are not listening for some reason. I know that eduacted people are not confused BUT there are people out there that are not. This article is really pointed towards them. I think you're missing the point. The point is that to save lives he/we must continue to raise our voices and say, "Yes we are here and still infected and we need your help to stop infection through prevention"


Comment by: Not positive (new york) Sat., Jun. 25, 2011 at 6:00 am EDT
i thinbk the world knows there is NO cure for HIV as of yet. with that said why drag this man(magic) into this conversation as if to chose sides. once there is a cure im sure Mr Johnson will be one of the first to acknowledge there is a cure. Mr Johnson has chose to make a living and the job he chose allows him to be in the public eye. what more is there to ask of Magic, let that man live his life.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:03 pm EDT
WOW He also been a strong advocate for HIV/AIDS since he has come out but people have become complacent because he looks so healthy they think he has been cured, therefore giving them the excuse of having unprotected sex. Don't you get´╗┐ that this is not about Magic Johnson coming out again, but about saving lives, since he is a role model. and BTW I'm not bashing him in anyway.


Comment by: Paul (Minneapolis) Sat., Jun. 25, 2011 at 4:05 am EDT
The medications that HIV+ take to live long and healthy lives have very unpleasant side effects and often make people feel tired, achy and depressed for hours or days at a time.

Healthy is relative.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:01 pm EDT
I guess
Comment by: Jerome (Houston, TX) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:07 pm EDT
Your statement is true if you're talking about the drugs of yesteryear. The drugs today are not nearly as bad. Unfortunately, in some cases, if a person were on the old drugs, you can't switch to the new ones. Also, if the new drugs (like Truvada) damages the liver, a person may have to be switched to the older drugs.


Comment by: PHILLIP G J (ATLANTA) Fri., Jun. 24, 2011 at 12:08 pm EDT
THIS REPORT IS ONE SHOULD BE BROUGHT TO THE AWARENESS OF PUBLIC AS A WHOLE. WE MUST ENCOURAGE THE PUBLIC OF THE ISSUES AROUND THE TREATMENT AND PREVENTION. WE CANNOT ALLOW MISINFORMATION: WITHOUT PROVEN CLINICAL AND SCIENTIFIC TRIALS AND RESEARCH SUPPORTS INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS AS MR JOHNSON. HE MAY WELL BE IN CONTROL AND NON-DETECTABLE VIRAL LOAD. BUT A DORMANT CASE NOT IN FULL OR DETECTABLE REPLICATION. AS A PHYSICIAN WE OWE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO REPORT ONLY PROVEN CLINICAL AND SCIENTIFIC OF THE ANALYSIS CAN SUPPORT SUCH ALLEGATIONS; SUCH THAT ALL PEOPLE INFECTED / AFFECTED BY THIS DREADFUL DISEASE. GIVE THE MOST CURRENT AND CLINICAL SUPPORTED INFORMATION AND NOT CLAIM HOPE WHEN THERE NEEDS TO BE MORE PROVEN CLINICALLY AND MEDICAL TRIALS AND SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:00 pm EDT
WELL SAID SIR WELL SAID

I APPLAUD YOU :-) THANK YOU


Comment by: gimmesometruth (Oakland California) Fri., Jun. 24, 2011 at 11:49 am EDT
why the racist comment "A lot of Black people think...". Many people of ALL races are still confused and in denial about how HIV is spread ("If you're married".."If you use condoms all the time"..."I was tested a year ago").
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm EDT
Well gimmesometruth Let me GIVE YOU SOME TRUTH. Racist comment REALLY?? That has been what I personally have come across it isn't racist if it is true. How can you deny the truth especially if you name ask for it.


Comment by: Heather (RI) Fri., Jun. 24, 2011 at 10:49 am EDT
How do you know? Is your friend, Jason, Magic Johnson's doctor? As you stated, he's got almost unlimited resources, which would allow him to experiment with all sorts of alternative cures in other countries.
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Comment by: bartleby Fri., Jun. 24, 2011 at 11:41 am EDT
we know because he repeatedly says he has HIV and advocates for HIV awareness/education. we also know because there is no "alternative cure" that works. also, magic johnson is not the only person living with HIV who is wealthy. and no, it's not a conspiracy to hide the cure.
Comment by: Informed (Atlanta, Georgia) Sun., Jun. 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm EDT
Bartleby.....you are SOOOOO wrong....and uninformed! you need to do your research before you speak on things you have no idea about!
Comment by: bartleby Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:40 pm EDT
@informed please, enlighten me.


Comment by: AL (Columbus, GA) Fri., Jun. 24, 2011 at 6:00 am EDT
I think you are making a nonsense request that Magic Johnson needs to reassure people that he still has the HIV virus. It is not his responsibility to ensure that everyone protect themselves during sex. It is well known by now that it is not safe to have unprotected sex.If you do you are taking a risk of contracting HIV/AIDS virus. This is a fact that is known all over the world. So stop sweating Magic!!
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Comment by: Anonymous Fri., Jun. 24, 2011 at 10:52 am EDT
AL It's not about "sweating Magic" its about people thinking that he is cured of this disease, which is not true. You are NOT looking at the bigger picture. It's not just about Magic it's about peoples perceptions of the disease.


Comment by: Dave (Lansing, MI) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 12:32 pm EDT
Well having HIV/Aids is a choice, except for people having blood transfusions or babies having it from their mothers. I think there should be no money should be given for Aids research. Most had a option by not having the social disease (through sexual relations or IV drug use). May sound harsh but people made the choice by getting the social disease through bad and poor choices!!!
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Comment by: bartleby Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 5:58 pm EDT
i know what you are trying to say, but having HIV is not a choice. it is not a social disease.

HIV can be spread through unprotected sex, which happens to everyone. and people have a lot of sex. shocking, right? sure, it would be ideal if everyone used protection each time they had sex, but unfortunately they don't. but to say no money should be given to HIV/AIDS research? that's extreme.
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 9:45 pm EDT
Dave,
How dare you? So you're saying that there should be no funding for helping us survive with medications and research. It doesn't sounds harsh like you said but it sounds heartless.
Comment by: Angel (Fort Worth, Texas) Fri., Jun. 24, 2011 at 10:23 am EDT
Having unprotected sex is a choice. People know the consequences and still CHOOSE to do it and if they contract any disease as a consequence, that is their own fault. Having said that, it is still a public disease and health issue and should be researched and dealt with just like any other one. Of course, medications should be given to patients. The bottom line, though, is that people need to stop engaging in risky activitiy if they don't want to get the disease, but to say they should not be taken care of is not the answer. If they are sick, they should receive medical attention just like anyone else.
Comment by: Trollhunter Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 10:02 am EDT
Don't feed the Troll.
Comment by: Jerome (Houston, TX) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:12 pm EDT
So are you suggesting that the documented cases where HIV was transmitted via a fist fight was a choice? How about when condoms break? What makes you think that everyone with HIV got it because of unprotected sex?

I think your ignorance is showing.


Comment by: J Gregory (Southampton, NY) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 11:16 am EDT
I've been HIV+ since a test done in Nov 1986. I've never taken any HIV/AIDS medications ever. so what's the big deal? testing positive for the virus is NOT a death sentence. I'm surprised that this is even a new item any more. I mean really.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm EDT
WOW Aren't you just walking on sunshine today lol
Comment by: skinfreak (washington, dc) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 12:26 pm EDT
I'm happy that you are one in thousands with HIV who haven't had to take meds, but there are thousands who cannot live without following their doctors instructions and have survived ONLY because of medication. I think your cavalier attitude is dangerous to newly diagnosed and misleading.


Comment by: Mike M. (Denver, CO) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 10:47 am EDT
A good, thoughtful opinion piece.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm EDT
Mike Thank you


Comment by: Justin (Charlotte, NC) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 10:24 am EDT
I remember some time ago Magic public addressed his HIV years after he contracted it saying he no longer has it due to maintaining a proper diet and healthy lifestyle... I always thought that was funny seeing as there is no cure but I just assumed that "healthy lifestyle" was he paid for a cure. Since there is no cure and he is very wealthy I assumed he had access to something the public couldnt get. Magic should let the people know this, b/c like I said he announced he "didnt have it anymore."
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Comment by: Myles Helfand (TheBody.com) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 4:30 pm EDT
Justin, what you're describing never happened. Magic has never given a public address in which he stated that he no longer has HIV. He has always maintained, since he first came out about his status, that he is living with HIV and has not been cured.
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 9:42 pm EDT
Justin Please let me know where I can find where he said that a legitimate article that show this
Comment by: Veronica (Maryland) Sun., Jun. 26, 2011 at 10:03 am EDT
I think Justin is mistaken. Magic said he didn't develop full blown AIDS, but never said he didn't have HIV. It was a long time ago and I don't have a link, but he did attribute his continued health to his diet and lifestyle, so it is probably the same interview. He was promoting a healthy lifestyle for people with HIV, not saying he didn't have HIV.
Comment by: JPM (Buffalo, NY) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 7:48 am EDT
I saw a similar interview that Magic gave some years ago. But it wasn't that he didn't have the virus anymore, it was that it wasn't detectable. And it was due to a healthy diet and taking medication. But in the interview he acknowledged that even he made the mistake of thinking he was "cured" and at one point he stopped taking his medication. But as expected the virus became detectable, the symptoms returned and he went back to his daily regimen. However, I think it's really unfair to hold one person responsible for "educating the world" on the perils of contracting HIV/AIDS. The words of a celebrity should not encourage you to take better care of yourself or protect yourself from communicable diseases. You should want to be more responsible to yourself either way.
Comment by: Anonymous Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 10:40 am EDT
Just doing a quick search "Magic Johnson cured of HIV"... I found in 97 doctors had stated he had no trace of the virus that they could find. I think this is what people heard thinking he was cured.


Comment by: Ann (Maryland) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 10:08 am EDT
A sound commentary which speaks to the disparity of those with money related to all medical care and those without those resources. Form Hiv to Cancer if one has the money to pay for the best of care it is logical to note that they have the best chances of survival.

Thanks you Justin.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 1:54 pm EDT
Ann Thank you for reading and your welcome :-)


Comment by: Tamara (Tuscaloosa,Al) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 9:46 am EDT
I do believe that people should still protect themselves whether or not Magic Johnson is cured or not. But if I am not mistaken, Magic and Cookie announces a few years back that they are cured. How true it is, I don't know, but it was said.
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Comment by: bartleby Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 6:02 pm EDT
no, you are mistaken. magic and cookie never announced he was cured. he still states he has HIV and that he is on meds.


Comment by: chinaredd517 (Cincinnati, OH) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 8:54 am EDT
I knew all along that Magic Johnson wasn't cured because there is no cure. Shame on the people for believing everything the media reports. If there was a cure there are more people with more money than Magic that would have been proclaiming to be cured.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 1:55 pm EDT
So true thank you


Comment by: Steve (Las Vegas) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm EDT
Hi Justin. I'm an 'African American' and have been around many others, and I haven't noticed a significant increase in the level of ignorance about Magic Johnson's HIV status amongst that group as compared to other racial groups.

I may have heard one or two people in my entire life that said he was cured, but only if they weren't having a serious conversation.

What really is to me much more concerning, is that having been diagnosed less than a year ago but having also been very aware of HIV compared to most of my peers (poz or neg), I have been so alarmed by what appears to be something called the "HIV community" or "the field".

It's not the fact that there is an 'HIV community' that is scary to me, but that this so-called 'HIV community', which I had always thought would be in service of the best interests of those INFECTED with HIV - namely the goal of being cured - seems to be completely negative and apathetic about all the tremendous and extremely important research that's being done right now for a CURE.

As a newly diagnosed and HIV infected person, I have been even more shocked about the fact that my supposed 'community' is run by people who seem more committed to being professional HIV money lobbyists than actual activists who will work selflessly to do whatever is needed to give the science that is now showing significant promise for a cure the funding it needs.

I guess there's not much long-term notoriety or profit in a cure for the very disease that this entire 'community' is built around, is there?

Perhaps HIV is more of a blessing to some than it is to others... when some take advantage of it as a way to make money, find fame, and get and keep power.... all while there are more and more people like me becoming infected, with no TRUE community to turn to - since most of the outspoken 'community' will SHUN away the science that begs for funding to find a cure.

It's time for HIV + people and those who love them to ACT for the CURE.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 10:10 am EDT
Steve,
Thats is why I used an example that actually happened with my friend Jason. Also here in the DC area this happens not all the time but from time to time. The Black or African American population here probably out weighs the population of Black or African American's in Las Vegas, I'm pulling from my experiences here in my area.

Also another point to look at is why people have something called the "HIV Community". Usually people do those kinds of labels because that particular community has to deal with very different things than the majority which is everyone else.

You can look at it from this prospective.
Black people called have been called the Black Community Gay people have been called the Gay Community. But has there ever been anything call the White Community.

Hey I'm not saying that its wrong or right I'm just trying to give you another prospective on it
Comment by: Jerome (Houston, TX) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:21 pm EDT
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but the vast majority of money is not being spent on the "Search For The Cure" but on "The Search For A Vaccine." Stopping the spread is a much more likely outcome than actually finding a cure.


Comment by: Maria (Miami) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 6:57 pm EDT
This is an awesome Blog My dear friend Justin! YES!! many think he is cured! and they are so wrong! ty for this!! love you ~maria~
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 9:52 am EDT
Love you dearly girl and thank you for the support baby :-) HUGS


Comment by: CJ (Flint) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 1:27 pm EDT
Short Summery : Faith healing will not eliminate HIV/AIDS. Praying to whatever Diety you believe in will not work.
HIV changes to AIDS when your CD4+ T cell count below 200 per ÁL of blood or 14% of all lymphocytes. If with antiretroviral treatment the Viral Load goes to zero and CD4 requips, you still have AIDS.
Modern medicine can keep people alive way longer than 15 years ago.
Great job with the Article. Keep up the good work.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 3:45 pm EDT
Hey CJ thank you I appreciate it


Comment by: KC (NY) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 9:47 am EDT
AIDS is the end stage of HIV. Picture a line --HIV at the beginning, AIDS at the end. Johnson is not at the end of the line yet.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 3:43 pm EDT
Exactly and thank goodness


Comment by: Reeta (Hawaii, USA) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 7:37 am EDT
Yes, I was just wondering about Magic Johnson when I saw this article! I didn't even Google it and it just showed up!! So THANK YOU Justin and I think you are right. He (Magic) SHOULD remind people that he is not HIV free and more attention should be given to HIV and AIDS now more than ever because people think it's not too much of an issue anymore.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm EDT
Reeta
Thank you Reeta


Comment by: david91406 (Van Nuys, CA) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 5:40 am EDT
Everyone seems to know that Magic Johnson's wife's name is COOKIE. However, very little has been written about the female who transmitted the HIV to him. Her name happens to be, NOOKIE. How's that for a coincident!!
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm EDT
David
Wow are you serious ? That is so strange


Comment by: sara (ca) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:27 am EDT
To talk about being "cured of HIV" is strange too--so the way you've written this blog is probably causing more confusion. HIV is the infectious virus that causes AIDS, not AIDS itself. My understanding is that Magic Johnson has never contracted AIDS from the virus as far as anyone knows. So he isn't sick from it (yet). Please correct me if I'm wrong and if you are trying to correct misconceptions, perhaps you should be more clear in your blogs.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm EDT
UMMMMMM let me say this what is the title of my blog entry? ALSO I said the virus that causes AIDS not AIDS itself because Magic Johnson doesn't have AIDS he has HIV. Maybe you should be able to read clearly before making a misconception yourself


Comment by: aaaaaa (NYC) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:09 am EDT
Unless you have access to his medical records, how do you know?
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Comment by: bartleby Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 11:26 am EDT
how do we know what? that he has HIV? because he has come out and said so many times. just read the recent interview he did with newsweek, http://www.newsweek.com/2011/05/15/magic-johnson-20-years-of-living-with-hiv.html.

also, how do you know he doesn't have HIV? i bet even if he took an HIV test in public and tested positive, there'd still be skeptics.
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 12:19 pm EDT
bartleby thank you for posting this


Comment by: WESLEY W (BALTIMORE, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 9:20 am EDT
people should still be very careful in having sex un-protected; because HIV/AIDS is stilll very much ALIVE AND KILLING. Facts of life: MONEY GETS YOU BETTER TREATMENT Fact:EVERYONE ISN'T RICH OR WEALTHY Fact:ONE SEXUAL PARTNER IS ALL ONE SHOULD NEED Fact: MORE THAN ONE PARTNER CAN,DOES AND WILL LEAD TO DEATH - FOR EACH NEW PARTNER YOU TAKE ON, YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT ALL OF THE OTHERS YOU ARE DOING AT THE SAME TIME (MININUM 1 PERSON SEXUALLY EQUALS APPROXIMATELY 1000); YOU DO THE MATH OF HOW MANY PEOPLE YOU ARE SCREWING EACH TIME YOU ARE WITH SOMEONE NEW AND DIFFERENT. GET ONE PARTNER AND BE HAPPY - LIFE IS TOO SHORT TO EVEN THINK ABOUT CUTTING MY TIME DOWN ANY MORE! EVERY DAY WE AS A WHOLE HUMAN RACE ARE DIEING YOUNGER AND YOUNGER, THINK ABOUT YOURSELF IF NO-ONE ELSE.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 12:18 pm EDT
I agree with this MONEY GETS YOU BETTER TREATMENT Fact:EVERYONE ISN'T RICH OR WEALTHY Fact:ONE SEXUAL PARTNER IS ALL ONE SHOULD NEED Fact: MORE THAN ONE PARTNER CAN,DOES AND WILL LEAD TO DEATH - FOR EACH NEW PARTNER YOU TAKE ON, YOU SHOULD THINK ABOUT ALL OF THE OTHERS YOU ARE DOING AT THE SAME TIME (MININUM 1 PERSON SEXUALLY EQUALS APPROXIMATELY 1000);
Comment by: Tamara (Alabama) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 9:51 am EDT
I agree but I would like to add that it only take one sexual partner to get the disease.


Comment by: Nuya (NYC) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 3:48 am EDT
Sir Mr. Mind your own Business. Let Magic live his own life how bout that.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 12:17 pm EDT
and you're just like people who bury thier head in the sand about HIV. Which make it even worse


Comment by: The Truth (Demorg, OK) Mon., Jun. 20, 2011 at 10:01 am EDT
The best part about this story is that his wife's name is "Cookie"!
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:18 am EDT
I like a person with a sense of humor lol


Comment by: Leonidas (Sparta) Mon., Jun. 20, 2011 at 9:52 am EDT
Anybody think it's odd that not only is he not dead but in terrific health? The meds cause terrific sad effects. But he seems to experience none.

What's wrong with this picture? Hint: think of the simplest possible explanation.
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Comment by: bartleby Mon., Jun. 20, 2011 at 4:48 pm EDT
yes, the explanation is that he can afford the best healthcare, adheres to his meds and takes care of his body.
Comment by: Sharon (Hershey, PA) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:12 am EDT
He never had it in the first place.
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:17 am EDT
I agree with bartleby
Comment by: bartleby Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 11:21 am EDT
@sharon no, he does have HIV. it is not impossible to have HIV and be in terrific health and to look great. also, not everybody experiences the side effects, but magic could be experiencing side effects for all we know.
Comment by: Terry (Hartsville, TN) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 10:57 am EDT
I feel that if any person were to look the best that having HIV could allow I believe it would be someone already in fantastic health with significant wealth to procure the best treatments. I don't know as much as others about HIV but what I do know is the drug cocktails are expensive, there's many different drugs out there, and every person is different.

Justin mentioned the Berlin patient situation. This is both a fantastic breakthrough and a sad one at the same time. The treatment involves finding a donor match that carries the gene resistant to HIV, some 2% of Caucasian people and 0% of African people. This cure in this context will never be available for African decent people unless the gene Caucasian people have can be introduced into their DNA somehow.

Thanks for this article Justin. While I'm married, white, and will only have one partner HIV is still a threat (blood transfusions, helping a wounded person, etc) my wife and I will likely never have it. A few of my closest friends are gay and while they don't have it the virus remains a big part of their lives and a black cloud over their lifestyle. Magic Johnson has been and will continue to be a fantastic spokesman for the HIV community.


Comment by: Carlin (NC) Mon., Jun. 20, 2011 at 9:03 am EDT
Ok to an extent I am with you. However, it is simply not true that the only case of cure is the "Berlin patient". That is the only case where modern medicine has been involved. There is a very well documented case of a woman in the 1990s who reduced her virus load to zero. The Drs. who had been treating her simply said yes, she has no HIV, but of course.. the test must've been wrong because it is incurable. Certainly not on ones own.. Also there are several instances of babies born with HIV who were able to throw it off. So yes, be careful. Use safer practices. Don't convince yourself you could get rid of it if you did get it. Don't necessarily believe Magic is cured unless he announces it. But also don't believe that it is incurable, that it takes a bone marrow transplant or any of that other junk because it simply isn't true.
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Comment by: Anonymous Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:17 am EDT
REDUCING your viral load to 0 does NOT mean you're cured of HIV


Comment by: chuchaluna (USA) Mon., Jun. 20, 2011 at 6:47 am EDT
This is ridiculous thinking. I think it's funny that so many people have these ignorant comments. I live my life with an HIV positive person who takes 5 pills a day to control his condition. He's one of the luckier patients to have a lesser pill regimen! I've done my own extensive research, it doesn't really matter if Magic Johnson still has HIV or not. If there is a cure; A. IT COSTS TOO MUCH TO EVEN THINK ABOUT. B. IT'S NOT AVAILABLE IN THE USA(unless you have . CASH to do it cuz the GOV would be on your ass before you can tell the world your cured)and lastly, C. The "Berlin patient" who is actually American was going to lose his life to other complications before the very costly, time consuming procedure that cured his HIV infection. Matching him with donors for that procedure was PAINSTAKINGLY perfect. Also, many people don't know that the actual procedure was life threatening itself! Point being, at the time Johnson said he was cured was probably next to impossible. Sure, the government and scientists know a lot about curing HIV. But most of the cures have a higher risk of dying than the actual treatment and management of HIV with western medicine. Before you say something horribly obnoxious because you may be too ignorant to think before you speak... DO YOUR RESEARCH
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:16 am EDT
chuchaluna
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS INFORMATIVE REPLY I love it


Comment by: David (Seymour, MO) Sun., Jun. 19, 2011 at 11:35 am EDT
Your message is good. I wish the news would keep this in the public eye instead of promoting who's not wearing cloths.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:15 am EDT
Thank you David me too, and I've contributed in one of my blog post and now I'm a better blogger because I'm not reporting on who not wearing clothes anymore


Comment by: JusticeForAll (Ohio) Sun., Jun. 19, 2011 at 9:23 am EDT
Magic is miraculously healed, in spite of what any one thinks, by God. Cookie, his wife, stated so in a brief interview with the media in 1997. That same year I attended a fundraiser hosted by Magic & Cookie, and was privileged to meet them both. I made it a point to highly commend Cookie for staying in the marriage, because most women would have emptied the bank account and jumped ship. God bless them both, with a continued long and happy life together!
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Comment by: JusticeForAll (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:14 am EDT
Healed spirtually yes I agree and to seek solace in God is a great thing, BUT he still has HIV, regardless.


Comment by: Moon Them (New York, NY) Sun., Jun. 19, 2011 at 8:29 am EDT
The cure for HIV/AIDS is to recuperate on Mars. Use a super pulsed fiber laser to blast a hole into Olympus Mons and live in there. On Mars, there are no bacteria, no viruses, no fungi, no mold. Remember, it's the opportunistic diseases that kill you in the end. But Mars is a pristine environment, so there are NO diseases to speak of.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:13 am EDT
I've booked my ticket for Mars so when are you going with me lol


Comment by: Johan S (San Francisco, CA) Sun., Jun. 19, 2011 at 6:53 am EDT
Why would any moron announce they have AIDS just to quit the NBA? Why not say you have a pulled tendon, back pain .. whatever. How many women would sleep with you after you announce you have AIDS? Maybe a few, but then you are restricting yourself .. and that type would already have AIDS. Basically it makes no sense to announce you have AIDS .. you can kiss getting laid with anyone except your wife goodbye. You can kiss people willing to shake your hand goodbye. Back in 1992 people were extremely scare of AIDS .. there was no treatment .. the only treatment was AZT which had side affects almost as bad as AIDS. Also how do you keep the fact that you don't actually have AIDS a secret .. you're forever indebted to your doctors to not go public etc.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:12 am EDT
People were afraid back in those days and it was a scary time.
Comment by: Sharon (Hershey Pa) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:15 am EDT
Depends upon whether he was paid to quit the NBA and become a spokesperson. I'm not saying that he never had it or not - but I'm saying that this is a plausible theory that the physicians I've worked with have pondered.


Comment by: slinky (los angeles) Sat., Jun. 18, 2011 at 10:02 am EDT
magic johnson is still alive because he has a ton of money. had he been poor or even middle class, he would likely have been gone a long time ago. regular health care is expensive; treating hiv is financially devastating for most people.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:11 am EDT
slinky What about the stars that had HIV in the early90's along with Magic Johnson that are not alive today ?


Comment by: Joe (Cincinnati, OH) Sat., Jun. 18, 2011 at 9:47 am EDT
He's not brave. He's anything but. He wouldn't have gotten HIV/AIDS if he wasn't a liar and cheater. I am not saying he deserves it he played with fire and got burnt.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:10 am EDT
Joe, Jeez man that is harsh and this is a disease we should NOT blame the person who was infected by it BUT we should blame the disease for showing us it ugliness. Please do NOT contribute to the negativity and stigma surrounded by this disease


Comment by: Randall (Rosy City, Texas) Sat., Jun. 18, 2011 at 6:27 am EDT
I've noticed that people generilly associate a long and healthy life to living with HIV. This is just not the case. Once your compromised you are no longer healthy. And particularly with HIV/AIDS you are far from healthy. That's why it's called a disease. Don't kid yourself!
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Comment by: bartleby Mon., Jun. 20, 2011 at 4:41 pm EDT
i know people living with HIV who are healthier than others who are not. it's all about taking care of your body and mind. obviously HIV is a disease, but it doesn't automatically make you unhealthy.
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:09 am EDT
People can live as long as 69 now with HIV meds and taking care of themselves a long life is seen in the future for a lot of us. BUT there are a lot of other factors that we can consider. A lot of people who have HIV die from other things because of the immune system being compromised. Either way we can look at this from bother prospectives


Comment by: Lynda (Dallas, TX) Sat., Jun. 18, 2011 at 5:35 am EDT
Hey Justin,

Magic Johnson constantly tells people that he still has HIV. He constantly tells people that his money has allowed him access to the best doctors and medication and that he takes very good care of himself. I am not sure why people aren't listening. But you are right, people are getting very relaxed and not protecting themselves.

Thank you for your message and mission. God bless...
Lynda
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:06 am EDT
Lynda I don't know why people are not listening either. It pains me sometimes.


Comment by: j (TN) Sat., Jun. 18, 2011 at 3:31 am EDT
Not just black folks but a lot of white folks think this too. I've heard from both groups. I think it's beyond Magic just being alive but that he looks as healthy as ever. People don't understand his health is because he can afford the best treatment, can afford dieticians to help him eat right, trainers to keep himself in top condition and that he's very, very, lucky to have responded so well to medications. He takes the illness seriously and has worked hard to stay in tip top shape which isn't easy even though meds have gotten better.

It's dangerous thinking and so many heterosexuals think they're not at risk because Magic has done so well but like his playing days he's the exception not the rule. I watched a friend of mine die without medication in the late 90's and he went quick. He went into denial (never told any of us) and it killed him FAST same as always.

Prevention is best and medications are absolutely key to survival. Better drugs don't help if you refuse or can't afford to take them.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:06 am EDT
j you might be right about that.


Comment by: John (Charlotte) Fri., Jun. 17, 2011 at 11:16 pm EDT
If a viable cure exists, Johnson has likely been cured, just as he has come forward and publicly acknowledged that he was on combo therapy years before it was the norm. Rather than dither about whether magic has or has not been cured and rightly invite speculation and conspiracy theory into the debate, wouldn't it make more sense to just tell people the truth: that reality for magic Johnson is NOT reality for the rest of us, regardless of what our skin color, sexual orientation or religious disposition may be.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:05 am EDT
John YES THANK YOU


Comment by: Joe (Maine) Fri., Jun. 17, 2011 at 8:07 am EDT
Seriously, Magic is cured so some think they don't need protection? Not only should they protect themselves against HIV, but all the other STD bugs out there. Not to mention unwanted pregnancy...
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:04 am EDT
EXACTLY Joe, HEP C SYPHLIS are still prevelent


Comment by: Mike (Florida) Fri., Jun. 17, 2011 at 7:24 am EDT
Why are you blasting on Magic? Who cares about your freakin debate. How do you know he is not cured? It's a man-made disease, therefore a man can fix it. Wasn't it enough he quit the NBA, and made a public announcement. Why not talk about how well he looks, and about the great career he had. Out of the millions of people who are infected, why speak of him.
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Comment by: Don (Columbus) Sat., Jun. 18, 2011 at 10:23 am EDT
I see intelligence isn't your strong suit.
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:03 am EDT
I AM NOT BASHING MAGIC JOHNSON. If you listened to anothing I had to say you would know that. I agree with DON. "I see intelligence isn't your strong suit."


Comment by: Dr (Ny ny) Fri., Jun. 17, 2011 at 12:38 am EDT
He spends over 300k annually on his meds. Cash.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:02 am EDT
WOW


Comment by: d49x2 (oz) Thu., Jun. 16, 2011 at 11:53 pm EDT
It's good to correct that misunderstanding. People should also know that it still does kill people. Also, taking medication to control HIV doesn't mean everything's just fine. You take a lot of pills (which cost a lot of money), and the pills have side effects. You really don't want the virus, so don't be thinking well, if I get it I'll just take the pills.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:02 am EDT
d49x2, Yes I know my meds without insurance cost me 1800 and more than that for the other that I take. I have good insurance so my meds cost me about 225 for a 90 day supply


Comment by: Laker Man (Los Angeles, CA) Thu., Jun. 16, 2011 at 11:47 pm EDT
Baby Sky Hook versus the Celtics.........ITS THE ULTIMATE!!!!!
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:00 am EDT
YEAH BABY


Comment by: jim (wv) Thu., Jun. 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm EDT
I dont think he ever had aids
I think he just wanted to quit
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Comment by: micha (omaha) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 6:11 am EDT
who cares
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 10:00 am EDT
Yes because we ALL say that because we want to quit our jobs....REALLY?

SLAP

I just hit you with a reality check stick.....GET WITH THE PROGRAM


Comment by: chaplain j. west (Jacksonville, Florida) Thu., Jun. 16, 2011 at 6:52 pm EDT
I also agree that God healed Majic Johnson not medicine. When his wife stated that he was healed by God - she was appeared very sincere about it; we cannot be dishonest about the miraculous works of the Lord. God can heal any sickness of disease if you have faith and believe in Him. Respectfully
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Comment by: sara b. (Kansas City, Mo) Sat., Jun. 18, 2011 at 6:40 am EDT
You are absolutely out of your mind.

God does nothing of the sort, and if not for medicine none of us would be here living until the ripe old age of 78.

Pay your respect where it is due, to evolution and science. Not a god who has never once proven his existence, and never will. People like you disgust me with your utter ignorance, and it bothers me that people actually believe what you say. It's really scary.
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 9:59 am EDT
REALLY?? REALLY?? Chaplain


Comment by: Blessed (Battle Creek, MI) Thu., Jun. 16, 2011 at 4:50 pm EDT
Magic Johnson has been healed from HIV but medicine didn't do it. He is a spiritual man and attends church on a regular basis. God healed him and he is blessed and highly favored.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 9:58 am EDT
Poor misguided soul


Comment by: Blessed (Battle Creek, MI) Thu., Jun. 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm EDT
Magic Johnson has been healed from HIV but medicine didn't do it. He is a spiritual man and attends church on a regular basis. God healed him and he blessed and highly favored.
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Comment by: Juliebelle26 (Del Mar,Ca) Fri., Jun. 17, 2011 at 6:45 am EDT
Nope, Blessed, as nice as it sounds, Magic Johnson is not healed from HIV (though he may in fact be highly spiritual and attend church regularly). This virus, which is a retrovirus because it is able to re-write a patient's DNA, is simply well managed and he would be considered a long term non-progressor. But the virus remains, ever ready to mutate, and manifest itself in a variety of opportunistic varieties. Just as anyone who has ever had Chicken Pox will never be truly free of the Herpes Zoster virus which causes Shingles later in life, this virus, too, is not curable, though there is hope that vaccine could be developed. Most likely MJ is on a nice cocktail of anti-retroviral therapy which may keep viral load low and t4 helper cells high. Eventually, HIV could become part of the human genome, as other viruses have.
Comment by: Otkon (Columbus, OH) Fri., Jun. 17, 2011 at 6:51 am EDT
This is one of the most idiotic comments that a deluded thrall of religion can make. There is no god thing. Magic Johnson has not been "cured", "healed", "blessed" or anything. Praying and regular lemming attendance at the nearest cult temple will not free one from the HIV virus. This posting is just as dangerous as thinking that current science has eradicated Magic's viral load. In a medical fight between your invisible sky bully and modern scientific developments, I will put my trust in the latter.
Comment by: James M. (Austin TX) Fri., Jun. 17, 2011 at 7:36 am EDT
Keep believing that..... here, drink this kool-aid....
Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 9:57 am EDT
Poor misguided soul.
Comment by: Madame XY (San Diego) Wed., Jun. 22, 2011 at 3:44 am EDT
Honey, if God "cured" diseases then babies wouldn't get cancer and die, most of our grandparents who love the Lord would still be with us etc. He made some serious moral descisons and decided to return to a spiritual path but the scientific community has proven prayer doesn't cure anything.
Comment by: Christian01 (Detroit) Thu., Jun. 23, 2011 at 8:51 am EDT
I must add_ God CAN heal but doesen't always. Death came into this world when Man fell from grace (see Genesis). And ALL people will die in the body, no matter how strong a believer.


Comment by: Mike (Altanta, GA) Thu., Jun. 16, 2011 at 1:18 pm EDT
Excellent blog. That attitude also gets promoted by some of the denialists also. Magic has access to the best care, facial fillers, etc...(which is great for him) but he shouldn't be the face if the disease. The average person stuggling to make ends meet, trying to get good medical care and have access to affordable meds should be.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 9:56 am EDT
Thank you Mike YES and Denialist make me ill.


Comment by: Anna (Tennessee) Tue., Jun. 14, 2011 at 4:44 pm EDT
I think I know where some of this may come from. I was having a discussion with some friends about this actually, and they also said that Magic was cured of AIDS. I asked why they thought that, and they said that they heard that HIV was no longer detected in his body.

AHA! So many people know next to nothing about this virus. Being undetectable does not equal cured! I explained to them that yes, he is undetectable because he takes medication every day, but he is still HIV positive.

I watched them mull it over, could see the wheels turning. Finally they understood, yes his meds have the virus under control, but he is by no means cured. I believe that this is the misunderstanding that many people have. There just isnt't enough education out there.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 9:55 am EDT
Anna SO TRUE I think that people have misconstrued undetectable vs being cured of HIV
Comment by: Jerome (Houston, TX) Mon., Jun. 27, 2011 at 1:57 pm EDT
You are SOOOOOOO correct. What is really interesting is I have been undetectable for five years. Yet on my last visit, my doctor pointed out that because of the availability of new technology we can now detect virus load levels below the old "undetectable" levels. So now, technically, I am now NOT undetectable but for practical purposes I still am.

Funny, the CDC issues the new levels of what is "undetectable" but doesn't issue any guidelines on what you call people who - but for a change in technology - are now "detectable."


Comment by: PAULINE A. ... ANGEL (trinidad an d tobago) Mon., Jun. 13, 2011 at 10:40 am EDT
excellent topic.......snce a lot of individuals r convinced tht magic johnson was cured and continue to live risky lives........blessings and thank u.....ANGELS FOREVER FOUNDATION GROUP.....
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 9:54 am EDT
Thank you Pauline People need to be aware and need to protect themselves


Comment by: Green Trees (Atlanta) Sun., Jun. 12, 2011 at 9:37 am EDT
I saw Magic Johnson on The Doctors a few months ago. He spoke about that. He also spoke about the many people who believe that he's never been infected with HIV in the first place. The people who believes these things really need to become more educated about HIV issues.
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Comment by: Justin B Terry-Smith (Laurel, MD) Tue., Jun. 21, 2011 at 9:54 am EDT
I wish what he said could have been heard from a larger scale. People need to hear it, I wish somehow we could hold a conference to tell other what he told you at the doctors


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