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December 1st is World AIDS Day– Around the globe people will unite in the fight against HIV/AIDS and show their support for people living with HIV as well as commemorating those who have passed away.  

Approximately 30 years after its emergence, HIV/AIDS continues to destroy the quality of life of ordinary and unsuspecting people. A majority of those affected are minorities or social-economically challenged people. Today, HIV devastates communities across the country. More than a million people are living with HIV in the U.S., and 1 in 5 of those people don’t know that they are infected. Unfortunately, the investment of our collective focus, interest, and efforts in defending ourselves against the disease has declined in proportion to the general sense of urgency that it formerly incited.  But there is still hope amidst the crisis. It starts with you… 

HIV is entirely preventable and advances in treatment have enabled those infected to live long healthy lives, just like Magic Johnson. On December 1, 2012, the Magic Johnson Foundation (MJF), in conjunction with a mobilized constituency, will be staging an awareness revival. The location will be at the epicenter of the ailing collective consciousness of a citizenry that focuses on the HIV/AIDS. On World AIDS Day the Magic Johnson Foundation aspires to revive the conversation about the epidemic.

Standing alongside Mr. Johnson in the war against HIV/AIDS, I have witnessed firsthand how astounded people are to see how he has embraced his role as a global ambassador for those infected or affected by the HIV/AIDS virus.  His personal accounts are about how his life has been both a gift and a curse to the disease. There are far too many people that falsely believe that there is already a cure for HIV/AIDS and that Mr. Johnson has access to it. While scientists and doctors are close to finding a cure, this myth has grown into a pervasive factoid espoused by a grossly uninformed general public. Mr. Johnson’s unexpected survival (considering the time period when he announced his status) wed with his entrepreneurial success off the court has led people to believe that somehow these feats have translated into a cure-all for HIV/AIDS. The fact of the matter is that despite the amount of wealth that someone may have there still is no cure HIV/AIDS. Alas, Mr. Johnson’s mastery on the court is not transferable to his work off the court in fighting to stomp out HIV/AIDS. In this game, the Magic Johnson Foundation has no tricks up its sleeve – only the will and determination to take the conversation around HIV/AIDS and point it forward.

The Magic Johnson Foundation wants people to lead the conversation around HIV –– we want people to share their personal stories. We view this as a simple yet critical first step in constructive dialogue that will raise awareness that will help bring an end to the spread of the virus. Silence isn’t golden. If we can’t talk about the problem, we can’t solve the problem.

Although World AIDS Day is a great opportunity to get the public talking about HIV and fundraising, we need to remember the importance of raising awareness of HIV throughout the year.

Please join MJF and pledge to have this extremely important conversation about HIV/AIDS with your friends, your partner, and your children and together we can “all be in for an end.”

Be “All In For An End” on World AIDS Day…

-Join the discussion — @MagicJohnsonFDN #ALLN4anEND #WAD2012

-Visit our site to learn how to start the conversation — www.magicjohnson.org

-Purchase your Shocking Goat limited edition MJF watch at ShockingGoat.com – proceeds benefit our HIV/AIDS work.

Amelia Williamson, President, Magic Johnson Foundation.

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