Views on the AIDS Epidemic: It Could Never Be Me

Johnson said: “I think we sometimes think only gay people can get it; it’s not going to happen to me. And here I am saying that it can happen to anybody, even me, Magic Johnson.” (Cannon. 1991).


We all tend to believe that we’re invincible to things we wouldn’t want to happen to us, we believe we can beat the odds to almost anything. Bush and Davies give a powerful stand in the fight to keep AIDS at a minimum. They believe that “information is the primary weapon in the fight against a new disease” (Bush, 1989). As more studies have taken place, the results have offered much-needed knowledge about how this disease is acquired and ways to remain safe from it. “Johnson’s public announcement that he had contracted the AIDS-causing virus may have defined a critical moment in the evolution of opinions about AIDS” (Pollock, 1994). Him speaking out about this new virus that could turn into disease opened up many conversations and investigations. Magic Johnson, is a heterosexual male and prior to his announcement studies believed that homosexual males were the only ones to carry this disease, bringing change in opinion of who could acquire it. There wasn’t ever a doubt that sexually active people could get it, studies just believed that the trait was only carried in men participating in same-sex intercourse.

Magic Johnson coming out lead to new studies and almost 3 decades later he is living and still very healthy. Although he has HIV it is known that HIV is the beginning stages of AIDS if not caught and treated in a timely manner. Most people like to think it could never be them, but the truth is you never know until you get tested or avoid all possible ways of obtaining the disease. Having the mindset that it won’t happen to you or a loved one, while not committing to safety measures only make that person more of a liability.As of now some of the known ways to acquire this disease are unprotected sex and open wounds. “To avoid getting HIV, you must prevent the blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or breast milk of someone who is infected from entering your body through your mouth, vagina, anus, the tip of your penis, or breaks in your skin” (UCSF, 2011).