Dr. Anthony Fauci, the president’s Chief Medical Advisor, has been one of the most talked-about people over the last few years. Celebrities have been showing their support for him and his work with COVID-19, but did you know Dr. Fauci helped save basketball star Magic Johnson’s life?
Johnson’s HIV Diagnosis
In 1991, Johnson was diagnosed with HIV and announced his retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers. At that time, an HIV diagnosis was considered a death sentence. Johnson initially claimed he did not know how he had contracted HIV, but later admitted he had had a number of extramarital affairs with many different women, which most likely led to his diagnosis. The basketball star recently talked about his experience with the disease while appearing on The View.
“First of all, let me thank Dr. Fauci, Dr. Ho, they both really helped me to be here,” he said. “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.”
Johnson also spoke about how important it was for him to share his diagnosis with the public in order to combat the stigma surrounding HIV. “That was everything, for me to heal, also for me to help people, especially in the Black and brown community, because it was running rapidly through our community at that time. We brought the numbers down,” he explained. “I became the face, and I am happy about that.”
His Life After Basketball
Even though Johnson announced his retirement from the NBA immediately after his diagnosis, he later rejoined the Lakers: as a coach in 1994, and as a player in 1996. Johnson continued to play competitively, shooting hoops for his Magic Johnson All-Stars team, the Swedish M7 Borås, and the Danish Great Danes.
After leaving basketball, Johnson tried out a lot of different careers, like hosting the late-night talk show The Magic Hour and starting his own record label, Magic Johnson Music. The basketball legend has also made a lot of smart business investments, including Starbucks and PepsiCo. Dr. Fauci is known for his ties to COVID-19 research and prevention, but Johnson is one person who remembers all the work he has done with a variety of infectious diseases.