When Magic Johnson reported that he was HIV+ in 1991, researchers were immediately excited by what they called the Magic Effect. Despite the myth of heterosexual AIDS, AIDS hotlines were suddenly deluged by calls from hysterical Americans – both gay and heterosexual.
After his high-profile retirement, Johnson quietly resumed his life and hardly mentioned HIV or AIDS publicly. This led the pharmaceutically-funded POZ editor David Drake to wonder in 1996 how Magic managed to “charge ahead despite society’s hostile wish that a person facing a life-threatening illness must martyr himself away from ‘the living’ and disappear into a solemn containment…”
“Oblivion and self-pity” were not part of Johnson’s life. From 1990-1996, Johnson nurtured his familial, spiritual, and business connections. While fast-track homosexuals and meth addicts got sicker and sicker, Johnson still shows no sign of the alleged illness – even after 20 years.
In the same 1996 issue, in-your-face activist Larry Kramer weighed in:
(Magic) doesn’t have to do a fucking thing. He’s not using his power to change anything… Does it occur to Magic that there are available treatments… that will save lives? Does it occur to him that the entire continent of Africa has not received AZT because Glaxo refuses to give it to governments at a reduced price? Does it occur to him that, by speaking about this, he could shame Glaxo into doing it?
Other pharmaceutically-funded activists demanded that Johnson to lobby Congress, while another questioned Johnson’s racial obligations:
I’m really glad that he can ‘forget’ he has AIDS. But I hope I’m alive when his T-Cells drop and the first lesion shows up, and he realizes that he really does have this virus and it won’t go away… I know that denial doesn’t work.
Johnson’s reply: “I don’t let AIDS dominate my life… I know what I’m doing… and I don’t care what people say.”
Alluding to how Johnson acquired a gay disease, the POZ article concluded that it wouldn’t matter as long as he told the world “that even a ‘raging heterosexual’ like himself could get infected.”
To a businessman like Magic, speculation about his sexuality could have irrevocably harmed his reputation and business relationships – especially among blacks who are, as a group, less tolerant of homosexuals than other groups.
Unlike pharma-funded propagandist Peter Staley, who suffers from lipodystrophy and other HIV drug-caused ailments, there is no verifiable evidence that Magic Johnson ever took AIDS drugs. Not only did his wife declare that he was cured, Magic admitted that he had briefly used AZT. Asked why he stopped and what AIDS drugs he was taking, Johnson responded in Glaxo-speak: “The medication that I take is a decision that my doctors and I make.”
Magic’s didn’t start pushing AIDS drugs and tests in the black community until GlaxoSmithKline paid millions for Magic to push Combivir – a deal so lucrative that Magic’s ads soon appeared with celebratory stories of male prostitutes and bare-backers. In 2004, POZ named Magic their Man of the Year.
Although it’s hard to track down his complete financial arrangements, it now appears that Magic Johnson and his Magic Johnson Foundation has received nearly $1 billion to push AIDS drugs and testing in the black community. Test manufacturer Abbott Labs paid Johnson $60 million in 2006 alone – a small investment for propaganda that targets black communities and generates billions of dollars in annual revenue for his pharmaceutical masters.