Monday, May 16, 2011
Justin's HIV Journal: Magic Johnson STILL has HIV
Magic Johnson is NOT cured of HIV
I repeat Magic Johnson is NOT cured of HIV. In 1991 Johnson retired from the NBA (National Basketball Association) almost immediately after he made a brave public announcement that he had contracted HIV. I good friend of mine, Jason, while working 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 cure 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. In 2006, a man in Germany who has been called, “The Berlin Patient” had Leukemia and HIV at the same time. The man went into the hospital to get a bone marrow transplant. After the transplant was a success he came to find out that there was not a trace of HIV in his body. Scientist went public with this news after 2 years to observe the man. The only reason why that man is now cured of HIV is because the bone marrow came from an HIV resistant donor.
Roughly one in 1,000 Europeans and Americans has an inherited genetic mutation, which prevents HIV from attaching itself to cells. This procedure is very expensive and excruciating. Bone marrow transplants kill about a third of patients and also doctors usually only use them in desperate situations like late stages leukemia.
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 wished are that people keep protecting themselves against the 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 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.
One 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 and comparison”.