Magic Johnson shocked the sports world when he announced that he had been diagnosed with HIV in 1991. Magic was one of the premier point guards in the NBA. HIV/AIDS was stigmatized by a public who simply didn’t have great information at the time. Johnson needed someone to help him cope with the news that he was HIV positive.
Magic turned to Dr. Anthony Fauci. Dr. Fauci became internationally famous for his role in helping to manage the global COVID-19 pandemic. In the 80s and early 90s, his focus was on HIV/AIDS research.
Johnson appeared on The View recently where he discussed how Dr. Fauci helped him separate facts from fiction when it came to his new way of life. Fauci taught Magic how things would have to change for him to deal with HIV. Thirty years later, Magic Johnson is still going strong.
“First of all, let me thank Dr. Fauci, Dr. Ho, they both really helped me to be here. They helped me understand that I had to take my meds, I had to be comfortable with my new status, make sure I kept a positive attitude, and keep working out, and so I’ve been doing that. Here I am 30 years later.”
At the time Magic Johnson was diagnosed, many considered HIV a death sentence. The virus would eventually cause full-blown AIDS, which at the time, was one of the most feared and misunderstood diseases in the world. Dr. Fauci helped Magic to understand that there was hope if he put in the work.
The Los Angeles Lakers superstar even eventually made his way back to the NBA after his diagnosis. Magic helped to swing public perception about the virus and created much more awareness. Johnson is eternally grateful to Anthony Fauci for helping show him the right way to live and getting him on the path to good health in the face of a very scary time.
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