Basketball great Magic Johnson has not been cured of human immunodeficiency virus, which remains latent in his body, but as of February 2015, he remains in good health. He attributes his good condition to early detection, compliance with anti-HIV medication and a healthy lifestyle.
Johnson was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and since then has become an activist for public awareness of the disease. He is the founder of the Magic Johnson Foundation, which works to educate people about safe sex practices and the need for testing for the virus. Through his foundation, Johnson also works to increase public acceptance of people diagnosed with HIV.
HIV is a virus spread by direct contact with an infected person's blood, semen, seminal fluid, vaginal fluids or rectal fluids. This usually happens through anal or vaginal sexual intercourse or sharing needles used for injecting IV drugs. Nursing babies can also be infected through breast milk. Other means of transmission are less common, but all involve direct contact between the bloodstream, damaged skin or mucous membranes and infected body fluids. The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 be tested at least once for HIV and that people who engage in unsafe sex or needle sharing be tested annually. Early detection and treatment improve the odds of staying healthy.