Magic Johnson's HIV Story Offers Hope For Cancer Patients

Published: Nov 08, 2016

Whenever I see my friend Dikla Benzeevi, I think of Magic Johnson. Benzeevi, a Los Angeles resident, has been living with metastatic breast cancer for 14 years. She is alive and thriving, as she calls it, far beyond what statistics predict.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, the basketball legend, announced on November 7, 1991—25 years ago—that he had tested positive for HIV. What I remember about his televised news conference was feeling sad. I’d spent the previous eight years as a medical student and young doctor working with AIDS patients in New York City. At age 32, his condition seemed hopeless. I don’t think any of my colleagues then would have believed that Johnson would be alive today. Having AIDS, or just being infected with virus, was a death sentence.

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