Magic Johnson turns 50

Happy 50th birthday to Magic Johnson. . . .

Eighteen years ago, when Johnson made his bombshell announcement that he was HIV positive, few expected the Lakers star would see his 33rd birthday, much less his 50th. . . .

“His impact on increasing awareness that you can live with the disease has been phenomenal,” says Cynthia Davis, director of HIV education and outreach at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science. “Even today, 30 years into the epidemic, there are people who aren’t educated and feel that it’s a death sentence.” . . .

So robust and energetic that some have wrongly assumed him cured, Johnson has said he owes his well-being — and perhaps his life — to the multi-drug cocktail he takes every day. . . .

“The reason he’s still alive,” Davis says, “is that he caught the infection early on before it had an opportunity to destroy his immune system, he changed his lifestyle and he went on these drugs.” . . .

Johnson’s wife, his kids and his fans — not to mention AIDS/HIV activists such as Davis — are all grateful. . . .

Here’s to 50 more. . . .


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