Magic Johnson expressed his gratitude for his Lord and Savior earlier this month as he celebrated the many blessings he received in life after being diagnosed with HIV 30 years ago.
âGod has truly blessed me,â Johnson wrote in a Nov. 7. Message on Twitter. âToday marks 30 years of living with HIV, so the message resonated with me in such a wonderful way. I thank the Lord for keeping me, for giving me strength and for guiding me for 62 years but especially the last 30.
âThrough it all, I learned to trust Jesus and I learned to trust God! he added in a Tweeter.
The former NBA Lakers playmaker, 62, is a father, grandfather, businessman, philanthropist and CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. During his NBA career, Johnson won five league titles, 11 all-star declarations and three league MVP awards.
In an interview with Gayle King, co-host of “CBS Mornings,” Johnson and his wife Cookie discussed what it was like to receive this diagnosis at a time when the only thing most people knew about HIV and AIDS was that it could be fatal. .
At the time, Johnson said he felt an HIV diagnosis was a death sentence. This left him “devastated”, he added, as he did not know what to expect in the future for himself, his wife and their unborn child.
âYou just sit there and say, ‘What does that mean? Am I going to die? “” Johnson told King. âI really had to learn a lot about the disease, HIV as well as AIDS. I had to make sure I was open-minded enough to ask a lot of questions, to get a lot of information from different people.
Johnson said he remembered asking Dr Mellman several times, “Are you sure? Mellman responded by telling him that they had performed several tests and all came back positive for HIV, but that he could potentially lead a long life if he was on treatment and took multiple medications a day.
The hardest part, Johnson said, was talking to his wife about her HIV status. The couple had been married for just over 40 days and recently found out that Cookie was pregnant with their son, Earvin Johnson III. Johnson’s main concern, he added, was that he would not pass the virus on to any of them.
“It was difficult because I loved her so much and hated hurting her,” Johnson said, adding that he felt immense relief when his wife and son’s HIV tests were negative.
âI was scared to death,â Johnson said. “I wanted to make sure she was okay, the baby was okay, and then I could go ahead and try to make sure everything was okay.”
For the past 30 years, Johnson has taken a cocktail of drugs as part of his daily routine. He has since reduced his medication from three times a day to once a day. Now, he said, the virus is undetectable, which means antiretroviral therapy has reduced the HIV virus to such a low level that it cannot be detected by standard blood tests.
People with an undetectable viral load are not likely to pass HIV through sex or to a child during pregnancy. However, that does not mean the patient has been cured, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Cookie, who King described as the epitome of wedding vows, said her main concern was her husband’s well-being and survival.
âIt wasn’t how he got it that was important to me. It was, ‘You might die. “And that prevailed over everything,” Cookie said, adding that she assumed he probably contracted the virus through sexual contact since he had never had a blood transfusion.
Even though Cookie was reluctant to attend the press conference where her husband would reveal his HIV diagnosis to the world, she still went and decided to wear a white suit, which she said symbolized “the brightness” and ” a future”.
“At that time, people were not educated [about HIV and AIDS], so they thought you couldn’t touch people, you couldn’t kiss people, âCookie recounted. âAnd I didn’t want people to treat us like we were lepers. “
During this press conference on November 7, 1991, Johnson assured the audience that his life was not over: âI will go on living. Everything is always the same. I can train. â¦ I’ll just have to take some meds and go from there.
Johnson has since become a spokesperson for HIV and AIDS awareness by starting the Magic Johnson Foundation.
In 2019, Johnson, who is now an outspoken Christian, resigned as president of Lakers operations so that he and his wife could devote more time to the Church of God in Christ from West Angeles to Los Angeles, in California, according to Christian. Securities.
âIt’s really a blessing when you know which direction you’re headed,â Johnson told Charisma News at the time. âIt’s such a change for me because now when I go to talk to companies, I start by praising the Lord.â¦ You can touch someone else. [when you] praise the Lord. “