Friday, June 18, 2010
EARVIN 'MAGIC' JOHNSON AND AIDS !!!!
He says the next two hours were among the toughest of his life. He worried about his wife, Cookie Kelly, who was two months pregnant, and Mellman couldn't offer much reassurance.
"As I got home," Johnson says, "I was just hoping and praying that she would stay with me. I think that was the main thing. ... As I told her I was HIV-positive she, of course, began to cry and asked me what that meant for (her) and the baby, which I couldn't tell her. But I told her I would understand if she wanted to leave me. You know, right at that time, she hit me so hard upside my head. And then she said, 'Hey, we're going to beat this together.' "
Five days later, Cookie's HIV test came back negative, Johnson says. "Then I started my own journey."
HIV is a virus, specifically a retrovirus, that can lead to Acquired ImmunoDeficiency Syndrome or AIDS. It is transmitted primarily by transfer of body fluids such as semen, blood, breast milk, or even vaginal fluids. I would like to stress here that HIV technically does not kill the victim but it just result to compromised immune system leading to major diseases.
It is most common in Africa where 18million victims has been infected since the disease first took note in 1981. Its primary cause is due to unprotected sex or sharing of needles by drug users. In this case, Magic Johnson admits he used to practice unprotected sex prior to his disease.
After announcing his infection in November 1991, Johnson created the Magic Johnson Foundation to help combat HIV,although he later diversified the foundation to include other charitable goals. In 1992, he joined the National Commission on AIDS, but left after eight months, saying that the commission was not doing enough to combat the disease.He was also the main speaker for the United Nations (UN) World AIDS Day Conference in 1999,and has served as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.
HIV had been associated with drug addicts and homosexuals,but Johnson's campaigns sought to show that the risk of infection was not limited to those groups. Johnson stated that his aim was to "help educate all people about what [HIV] is about" and teach others not to "discriminate against people who have HIV and AIDS". Johnson was later criticized by the AIDS community for his decreased involvement in publicizing the spread of the disease.
To prevent his HIV infection from becoming AIDS, Johnson takes a daily combination of drugs. He has advertised GlaxoSmithKline's drugs, and partnered with Abbott Laboratories to publicize the fight against AIDS in African American communities.