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I'll Deal With It
Magic Johnson
November 18, 1991
HIV has forced me to retire, but I'll still enjoy life as I speak out about safe sex
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November 18, 1991

I'll Deal With It

HIV has forced me to retire, but I'll still enjoy life as I speak out about safe sex

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In the meantime, I'd like to volunteer for the vacancy on President Bush's National Commission on AIDS, which was left by the death earlier this year of Belinda Mason, who contracted the disease through a blood transfusion.

One of the first things I must do, though, is educate myself. My doctors have given me stacks of literature on AIDS, and I intend to read every word before starting this new phase of my life. In some ways it'll be another fast break, full-force and all-out. I don't want to undersell my message of safe sex, education and research.

The letters, telegrams and other expressions of support I received in the days following my announcement have been overwhelming. They've been as important to me as my doctors and the treatment that I'll soon start receiving. They've been part of my therapy. It will help if people still treat me as they always have. Don't stop asking me for autographs and high fives. I'll still be the same happy-go-lucky guy I've always been, not someone you should be afraid of being around.

Maybe one day I'll be able to help us get this thing under control, and then I can become an example to young people in a different way. Not as Magic Johnson dealing assists on the fast break, but as Earvin Johnson dealing with life-dealing with AIDS.

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