June 10, 2011
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."
Read Justin's blog, Justin's HIV Journal.