Earvin "Magic" Johnson is not alone. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates 1 million to 1.5 million Americans have the HIV virus. Officials from the Agency for International Development told a House committee over six million Africans have the virus, too -- one out of every 40 adult Africans. Under the present state of medical knowledge, every one of them will get AIDS and die.
The AIDS epidemic is going to get much worse in this country before it can diminish. As of Sept. 30, CDC received reports of 195,718 American AIDS cases in a decade, and 126,159 AIDS deaths. That leaves 69,559 active cases, and roughly 20 times as many more Americans who have the virus and are fated to contract AIDS.
If Magic Johnson can get AIDS -- and he will -- anyone can. They don't make an athletic shoe that protects you from it. You can be one of the greatest players who ever graced the game of basketball, make the best passes in the world, play with amazing gifts, skill, intelligence, dedication and joy. You can make $3 million a year to do what you love, and three times as much to endorse harmless products. None of that can save you. A condom with spermicide probably would, or a sterilized needle.