It has been 20 years since world famous retired basketball superstar Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV positive. His announcement shook the world, which shed some much needed light to HIV and AIDS. During that time one of the misconceptions of the disease, was that you can tell if someone had HIV/AIDS just by looking at them. Well Magic proved that theory to be wrong. No one expected a renown basketball star to have contracted the virus. It was bad enough that he had to admit his infidelity but now the world would know the price he would pay because of it.
Since then Magic has been an advocate for the awareness of HIV/AIDS. He has also created The Magic Johnson Foundation, a non-profit organization which has been a tool to bringing education, prevention and treatment to those affected with the disease especially in the minority community. The MJF has developed scholarships, jobs, panels, workshops, and many other great things. Magic was determined to not let his diagnosis destroy him mentally. Instead, he focused his energy into helping others that are less fortunate than him.
We commend Magic Johnson for his continued support to the community and the light he has shed on this matter. Over the years we have gained more knowledge of the virus. With the advancement of technology, medicine through research, allows people with the disease the ability to live a long and normal life. In spite of all, the awareness surrounding HIV/ AIDS it is still an issue within the Black Community. It is the leading cause of death in the African American Community at an alarming rate of 49% have HIV/AIDS. When broken down by gender 41% of Black males have been infected and even more surprisingly 64% for Black females.
It leads me to wonder have we been doing enough to educate ourselves about the virus? Why are we the leading ethnic group with this disease?What can we do to bring more awareness to our community? The first thing we can do is educate ourselves and get tested. Early detection is one of the ways we can stop this epidemic from plaguing our community.
This is why we at Black Street deem it necessary to bring awareness to on HIV/AIDS. Magic Johnson is one of many in the fight for a cure. You can be one too by convincing your friends and family to go with you and get tested. Make this an important subject to talk to your children and your partner. There are many resources now for those who need help with talking about it.
If you have been affected by this disease or know someone that has, please click the following links: