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Today is World AIDS Day, a day to not just remember those we’ve lost to the virus, but also to increase awareness. This year’s theme is “Focus, Partner, Achieve: An AIDS-free generation.”

Former NBA star Earvin “Magic” Johnson has been one of the most prominent faces of people living with the AIDS virus since announced his diagnosis in November of 1991. He spoke to the Tom Joyner Morning Show about his efforts to help combat the virus.

Worldwide, an estimated 34 million people are living with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. More than 35 million have died and 1.1 million people in the U.S. are living with HIV including 506,000 who are Black. That’s over half of the people living with AIDS. Magic, any progress?

We’ve made progress. For me, now, it’s been 23 years. We’ve made some progress on the drugs. When I first announced, there was one. Now we have over 30 drugs. Make sure you go get tested because now the drugs can save your life. It’s important to get tested because a lot of us, Black and Latino, are walking around with it and don’t know they have it. So they are infecting other people. So it’s important to get tested, and it’s important to wrap it up.

 Obviously, that’s not working very well.

That’s why we urge people to get tested. What happens in our community is that you find out too late because you didn’t get tested and by the time you do get tested, the drugs can’t help save your life.

And we don’t want to wrap it up. And we don’t demand that men wrap it up.

The message is strong but we don’t adhere to it. We haven’t been protecting ourselves and our partners. The numbers are amazingly high in our young people so young people have to really educate themselves and protect themselves and their partners.

The numbers are growing for older people. 

Magic Johnson: ‘I’m A Blessing And A Curse For HIV/AIDS Awareness’  was originally published on

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