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Marissa MayerNov 26, 2021 12:00:00 AM2 min read

‘I Learned to Trust in Jesus’: Magic Johnson Gives Glory to God Reflecting on 30-Year Journey with HIV

When Magic Johnson was first diagnosed with HIV 30 years ago, he thought it was a death sentence.

His mind immediately went to everything he could lose — his own life, the lives of his wife and unborn son and his incredible career in the NBA.

It turns out Johnson didn’t lose any of those things. His wife and baby tested negative for the virus. While Johnson initially retired from the NBA, he came out of retirement twice, winning an Olympic gold medal in 1992 with the original Dream Team. And today, the virus is undetectable in Johnson’s body — kept at bay with daily medication.

But Johnson did gain something from his journey with HIV that changed his life forever — a relationship with Christ.

Earlier this month marked the 30th anniversary of Johnson’s HIV diagnosis and he didn’t hold back in giving credit where credit is due.




"God has really blessed me!” he wrote on Twitter. “I thank the Lord for keeping me, giving me strength and guiding me for 62 years but especially the last 30.”

The tweets were partially in response to a message preached by his pastor that day titled, “Living Through the Affliction.” Over the past years, Johnson has experienced firsthand the only real cure for our earthly afflictions—Jesus.

“Through it all, I learned to trust in Jesus and I learned to trust in God!” Johnson revealed. 

Today, Johnson devotes much of his time sharing that message with the rest of the world. After stepping down from his role as president of operations for the Lakers in 2019, Johnson and his wife got more involved in their church—West Angeles Church of God in Christ. And it turned out to be one of the most fulfilling career moves Johnson has ever made.

"It's truly a blessing when you know what direction you're going in," he said. "It's such a change for me because now when I go to speak to corporations, I lead off by praising the Lord… You can touch somebody else [when you] praise the Lord."

For those who want to learn more about Magic Johnson’s journey, keep an eye out for the upcoming documentary series on his life, which will be available on Apple TV+.


He and his wife, Cookie, also celebrated 30 years of marriage earlier this year.

Photo Credit: Instagram

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Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer is a writer and editor with more than 10 years of professional experience. Her work has been featured in Christian Post, The Daily Signal, and Intellectual Takeout. Mayer has a B.A. in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing from Arizona State University.