Magic Johnson has been living with the HIV virus for over 20 years now and throughout that time, he acknowledges that much has changed.
“At that time, AIDS was a death sentence. And now, things have changed,” Johnson told the Huffington Post.
“Twenty-two years ago, there was only one drug available. Now, there’s more than 30 drugs, and they’re really great drugs too. And that’s the reason for hope: Doctors and health care providers are so much better and knowledgeable today than they were in the past,” he added.
In honor of World Aids Day, which is celebrated every year on Dec. 1, the NBA-legend-turned-entrepreneur discussed his personal bout with the virus.
Johnson said HIV was primarily only of concern among the gay, white community when the virus first gained recognition.
Yet, he discussed how the public’s perception of HIV and AIDS has shifted across various races and age groups.
“Now, it’s an issue in the black and brown community, especially the African American community,” Johnson said. “Things have changed just that fast.”
According to Johnson, the rise of other health issues has reduced the awareness and attention surrounding AIDS and HIV.
“HIV has been pushed out, and it’s not at the forefront anymore. People are not talking about it as much as they used to. And in the black community especially, we really need to be talking about it.”0