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Magic Johnson denied "false stories" that he donated blood to Covid-19 patients and underprivileged children.

The Los Angeles Lakers legend tweeted on Tuesday, "I'm aware of the false story circling the Internet and to be clear, I have never donated blood."

The rumors started after a photo circulated on Twitter showing Johnson having his blood drawn.

According to the Associated Press, the photo is from a 2012 documentary called "Endgame: AIDS in Black America." The image shows Johnson having his blood drawn at a doctor's office, not donating blood.

Johnson announced he was infected with the HIV virus during a press conference in 1991. The news shocked the sports world.

The American Red Cross bans people infected with HIV from donating blood, even if the viral load is undetectable.

Instagram model Gena Tew has regained some of her vision after going blind in one eye amid her battle with AIDS.

Gena tells TMZ, her vision is partially restored after she underwent a successful procedure on her eyes Thursday in Memphis.
 
RELATED: Instagram Model Gena Tew, 27, Reveals Battle with AIDS, Wasting Syndrome
 
Gena, 27, says before the surgery she was totally blind in her left eye, but she's already able to see some shapes. She has hopes her vision will be completely restored.

Cytomegalovirus retinitis causes vision loss and blindness in patients with AIDS. It is one of the AIDS-defining illnesses.

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Instagram, GoFundMe

Gena tells TMZ she weighed just 65 pounds at the peak of her illness, but she is slowly gaining weight thanks to her medication regimen and excellent medical care.

The model, who attended Hollywood parties with Nick Cannon, Chris Brown, and Chief Keef, said she informed her sex partners about her AIDS diagnosis and they all tested negative.

She refused to name her partners to protect their privacy, but she denied being intimate with Brown or Cannon.

Gena says she gave up hope when she was first diagnosed with AIDS. At the time, she didn't realize she had been living with AIDS for 10 years. She is sharing her story to inspire other young people who are diagnosed with the HIV virus.

Gena tells TMZ she is still receiving tons of support online, including a donation from R&B singer Ari Lennox via her GoFundMe page.

Watch the videos below.
 

 

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Twitter

An HIV organization is showing support for Gena Tew, the Instagram model who learned she had AIDS after 10 years without testing.

The 27-year-old revealed her decade-long battle with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in a TikTok post.

In the video, Gena said she didn't know she had AIDS until a doctor told her after she complained of unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and extreme fatigue.

In an interview with TMZ, Gena said she's blind in one eye and she is unable to walk without assistance due to wasting syndrome, an AIDS-defined illness.

The model, who attended parties with Nick Cannon, Chris Brown, and Chief Keef, said she informed her sex partners about her diagnosis and they all tested negative.

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Instagram, GoFundMe

She refused to name them to protect their privacy, but she denied having sex with Brown or Cannon.

After reading about her situation, an HIV organization reached out to Gena on Twitter to offer support.

Let's Beehive is an Orlando-based organization that provides innovative HIV/AIDS health education workshops and prevention programs for children and adults to increase HIV awareness, according to their Twitter page.

Let's Beehive is an acronym that means "Let's Be HIV Educated." It is not associated with singer Beyonce's fanbase that calls themselves the "BeyHive."

The company tweeted:

"We are sending our love, thoughts, and prayers to @GenaTew. Thank you for your amazing courage and strength. You are not alone sis! Your story is increasing HIV awareness and helping more women and girls get tested and knowing their status. We are here for you [bee emoji] #letsbeehive [heart emoji]."

In a follow-up tweet, they wrote: "We love you @GenaTew. Don't let them #breakyoursoul. We are here for you! #letsbeehive."

The tweet referenced Beyonce's new single "Break My Soul" off her new album, Renaissance.

A GoFundMe account has raised over $10,000 for Gena's medical bills and to help her move closer to her late sister's family.

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Instagram, BACKGRID

An Instagram model's battle with AIDS leaves Chris Brown's fans worried about his health. Gena Tew, 27, shared a TikTok post detailing her battle with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Gena said she didn't know she had AIDS until a doctor informed her after she experienced unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting and extreme fatigue.

She tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and her weight loss was due to wasting syndrome - one of the so-called AIDS-defining illnesses. Her condition is so debilitating that she is unable to walk without assistance.

Gena believes she was infected with the HIV virus when she was 17. She doesn't know who infected her.

Gena was once a popular Instagram model who traveled in the same circles as hip-hop stars Chris Brown, Nick Cannon and KanYE West, among others.

According to public health officials, 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV or AIDS.

Doctors and coroners stopped listing AIDS as a cause of death in the mid-1990s due to the stigma. Which means the true number of AIDS-related deaths in America will probably never be known.

An Instagram model's battle with AIDS has shaken the hip-hop community. Gena Tew revealed her decade-long battle with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in a TikTok post.

In the video, Gena said she didn't know she had AIDS until she went to a doctor after experiencing unexplained weight loss, nausea and vomiting, and extreme fatigue.

She said the doctor tested her for HIV and the test came back positive. She was diagnosed with AIDS - the advanced stage of HIV infection. Her white blood cell count was low and she had wasting syndrome, also referred to as an "AIDS-defining illness."

Gena, 27, said she weighs just 70 pounds and is unable to walk without assistance.

The NY-based IG model and reality TV personality was once a regular at private parties thrown by Chris Brown, Nick Cannon, among others.

She said she doesn't know who infected her with the HIV virus.

Health officials urge celebrities who may have been intimate with Gena in the past to get HIV tested.

More than 1.2 million people in the US are living with HIV. The cases are rising, particularly in San Francisco, NY and Atlanta, according to health officials.

Even though AIDS is the end stage of HIV infection, AIDS illnesses can be treated with HIV drugs, antivirals, antibiotics and antifungals.

Watch the videos below.
 

 

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Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Will Smith's slap incident at the Oscars has brought back memories for many celebrities and public figures.

In an in-depth Apple docuseries, NBA legend Earvin "Magic" Johnson recalls a time when he wanted to slap radio host Howard Stern for joking about his HIV diagnosis.

In 1998, Johnson hosted his own talk show, "The Magic Hour," which was canceled after just three months.

The show was intended to fill the void left after "The Arsenio Hall Show" was canceled in 1994.

Johnson said that one of his most vocal haters at the time was Howard Stern. So Johnson's producers booked Stern for an appearance on his show.

Stern insulted Johnson by accusing him of "trying to talk like the white man" and suggested he "talk Ebonics."

"I'm Blacker than you are," Stern told the Lakers legend. "I'm the Blackest Black man you'll ever meet." Then Stern uttered the ultimate insult: "At least you had fun getting AIDS."

Johnson reacted calmly - just as Chris Rock did when Will Smith slapped him decades later.

Johnson told Stern that he had HIV, not AIDS.

"I wanted to say something and hit him at the same time — on air," says Johnson. "I was mad when they booked him, but there's nothing you can do. When people look for ratings, this is what happens."

Johnson added: "I've never put myself — or HIV and AIDS, or my race — in that position again, ever again."

Ashley Cooper / The Image Bank

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first ever condom made specifically for gay males.

The FDA has authorized the sturdy condoms for use during anal intercourse, specifically green-lighting the condom for the LGBT+ community.

The One Male Condom was designed and manufactured by the Global Protection Corporation.

Most condoms are already recommended for anal sex, but they are required to be marketed specifically towards vaginal sex.

The Image Bank RF

The One Male Condom will be marketed specifically towards gay males. The FDA's approval is seen as a victory for sexual health by experts, since unprotected anal sex is considered the highest risk for HIV transmission.

"The FDA's authorization of a condom that is specifically indicated, evaluated and labeled for anal intercourse may improve the likelihood of condom use during anal intercourse," said FDA scientist Courtney Lias in a statement.

In clinical studies, the durable condoms prevented transfer of bodily fluids in 95% of test subjects. The study included 252 straight men between ages 18 and 54.

"The important thing about condoms is they don't just prevent HIV, but they prevent gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis," Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease doctor and medical director of an HIV clinic in San Francisco, told AFP.

She added it was surprising that the FDA authorization took so long to occur.

Luis Alvarez / DigitalVision

The U.S. Food & Drug Administration has approved the first injectable HIV prevention drug for adults and adolescents.

Apretude is administered one month apart, then every two months to prevent the risk of acquiring HIV.

The long-acting cabotegravir (or Apretude) injectable drug is approved for at-risk adults and adolescents who weigh at least 77 pounds.

Apretude is not intended for people who are already diagnosed with HIV or AIDS.
 
READ ALSO: CDC recommends HIV drug PrEP for everyone who is sexually active
 
The news comes about a month after the Centers for Disease Control updated its guidelines recommending physicians talk to all sexually active adult and adolescent patients about taking PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis).

"I really think this puts PrEP in the same place as so many other really good preventive interventions like talking about smoking, alcohol, drugs, etc," Dr. Demetre Daskalakis, the director of CDC's Division of HIV Prevention, told CNN.

The injectable drug is expected to replace the daily PrEP pill for high-risk individuals such as men who have sex with men (MSM).

"Today's approval adds an important tool in the effort to end the HIV epidemic by providing the first option to prevent HIV that does not involve taking a daily pill," said Debra Birnkrant, director of the Division of Antivirals in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

PeopleImages / E+

The Centers for Disease Control has updated its guidelines to recommend pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to all adults and adolescents who are sexually active.

According to the new guidelines, all sexually active adult and adolescent patients should receive information about PrEP.

The new guidance allows primary care doctors to advise patients who are sexually active that the HIV prevention drug PrEP should be a routine part of their care.

PrEP is a drug prescribed to reduce the risk of getting human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or the virus that causes AIDS.

PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99%. Studies determined that only about 25% of adults and adolescents who can benefit from PrEP are actually taking the drug.

"It just makes sense to expand it to everyone," Kristen D. Krause, PD, MPH, tells Health.com. "PrEP is a big tool in the tool kit of HIV prevention."

"Having the CDC give the green light and say that this is an expected and routine part of your care potentially gives license to providers who otherwise might not have had this conversation," Seth Glassman, MD, an infectious disease expert, tells Health.

Before going on PrEP, all patients are required to take an HIV test. People who are already HIV-positive should not take PrEP.

The CDC stresses that PrEP is safe for everyone, and side effects caused by PrEP are mild and resolve eventually.

Those side effects include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain

 
"Taking this medication dramatically reduces the chance that you will be infected with HIV if you are exposed to the virus," Jamie Alan, PharmD, PhD, tells Health.

"These side effects should be weighed against the possibility of getting infected with the virus," Alan says.

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Instagram

Rapper DaBaby is in hot water again after reportedly cutting ties with AIDS organizations.

Several AIDS organizations say DaBaby cut off communications after they asked for the funding he'd promised.

"Since [late Aug.], we have not received any outreach, partnership, or funding from DaBaby. The onus is now on him, if he chooses to, to convert his misinformation into allyship by supporting the work of the Black AIDS Institute and other people of color-led HIV organizations."

If you recall, the AIDS organizations forgave the troubled rapper after his career was canceled following his homophobic rant in Miami earlier this year.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

"If you didn't show up today with HIV/AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that will make you die in 2, 3 weeks, put ya cellphone light in the air... Fellas, if you ain't sucking d*ck in the parking lot, put ya cellphone light in the air. Keep it f**king real!"

The backlash was swift and a plethora of summer music festivals dropped DaBaby from their lineups.

Black HIV leaders called for a meeting with the artist in an open letter on August 04 "to which DaBaby affirmatively responded."

After the meeting, they issued a glowing report and gave their blessing for DaBaby to resume touring -- as long as he gave them his tour proceeds. But those checks were never cut.

They said in a statement, at the time:

"During our meeting, DaBaby was genuinely engaged, apologized for the inaccurate and hurtful comments he made about people living with HIV, and received our personal stories and the truth about HIV and its impact on Black and LGBTQ communities with deep respect... DaBaby's willingness to listen, learn, and grow can open the door to an entirely new generation of people to do the same."

Moment / Getty Images

Pfizer says its new Covid-19 pill will cut the risk of hospitalization or death by 89% when taken with a widely used HIV drug.

Pfizer's antiviral pill is second behind Merck Pharmaceutical, which submitted data for its anti-Covid pill to the FDA last month.

Pfizer's new pill, when taken with the HIV drug, showed strong effectiveness for treating Covid-19 at the first sign of illness in high-risk adults.

Pfizer's pill is part of a class of medicines called protease inhibitors that work by inhibiting an enzyme the virus needs to multiply inside human cells.

The coronavirus enter host cells by binding to ACE2 receptor enzymes in cells. People with higher levels of ACE2 (morbidly obese and HIV patients) are at higher risk for sickness and death.

The HIV drug slows the breakdown of Pfizer's pill so it will remain active in the body for long periods at higher concentrations.

"I think this medicine will change the way things are happening right now that will save millions and millions of lives, it has the potential to do it," Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla -- a veterinarian -- told CNBC's "Squawk Box."

Pfizer will submit data to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later this month.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Donald Trump is catching heat for statements he made about Haitian migrants at the U.S. border.

The U.S. border patrol expects 60,000 Haitians to arrive at the Texas-Mexican border within days.

In a phone interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News last night, said many of the Haitian migrants will probably have AIDS.

The former President said:

"So, we have hundreds of thousands of people flowing in from Haiti. Haiti has a tremendous AIDS problem. AIDS is a step beyond. AIDS is a real bad problem.

"Many of those people will probably have AIDS and they're coming into our country. And we don't do anything about it. We let everybody come in."

Trump added: "Sean, it's like a death wish. It's like a death wish for our country."

 

The U.S. resettled 15,000 Haitian refugees across the country following public uproar over border agents on horseback corralling Haitian migrants in September.

Many on social media said Trump's words were far worse than current Pres. Joe Biden ordering the migrants deported back to Haiti on U.S. Coast Guard planes.

Others noted that Trump was correct because Haiti has the highest rate of AIDS in the Western Hemisphere.
 

Steve Jennings/FilmMagic

Rapper DaBaby reportedly met with leading Black HIV activists representing nine HIV organizations across the U.S., according to a press release.

The private virtual meeting was held on Tuesday, August 31, "to discuss HIV facts and share personal stories of living and thriving with HIV."

The meeting followed an open letter signed by 125 HIV organizations to DaBaby after he hurled anti-HIV comments at the Rolling Loud music festival in Miami in July.

Rich Fury/Getty Images

DaBaby, real name Jonathan Kirk, was "canceled" following his Rolling Loud performance. Multiple summer festivals canceled his concert bookings, costing him over a million dollars in revenue.

The Black HIV leaders called for a meeting with the artist in an open letter on August 04 "to which DaBaby affirmatively responded," according to the press release.

The organizations provide HIV education and direct services to Black heterosexual men and women and LGBTQ communities across the southern United States, which account for the majority of new HIV cases. Last week, GLAAD also released findings from the 2021 State of HIV Stigma Study, funded by the Gilead COMPASS (COMmitment to Partnership in Addressing HIV/AIDS in Southern States) Initiative which found only 42% of Americans know that people living with HIV cannot transmit the virus while on proper treatment.

MediaPunch / BACKGRID

In a joint statement, the Black Community Leaders/Meeting Attendees said:

"The open letter to DaBaby was our way to extend him the same grace each of us would hope for. Our goal was to 'call him in instead of calling him out.' We believed that if he connected with Black leaders living with HIV that a space for community building and healing could be created. We are encouraged he swiftly answered our call and joined us in a meaningful dialogue and a thoughtful, educational meeting.

During our meeting, DaBaby was genuinely engaged, apologized for the inaccurate and hurtful comments he made about people living with HIV, and received our personal stories and the truth about HIV and its impact on Black and LGBTQ communities with deep respect. We appreciate that he openly and eagerly participated in this forum of Black people living with HIV, which provided him an opportunity to learn and to receive accurate information...

The full Joint Statement can be read here.

Photonews via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized a third coronavirus mRNA injection for "immunocompromised" people beginning on Thursday, Aug. 12.

The federal health agency expanded emergency use for Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA to administer third "booster" shots to people with compromised or weak immunity.

The shots are authorized for people who received the first two injections and are considered immunocompromised due to cancer treatment, autoimmune disorders, HIV or other conditions that weaken the immune system.

picture alliance via Getty Images

Americans with weak or compromised immunity are allowed to get a third coronavirus vaccine beginning on Thursday, Aug. 12.
 
ALSO READ: Should You Get a Third Vaccine Shot? The CDC Says Not Yet
 
Previously, health experts at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta and the World Health Organization (WHO) said third boosters shots were not necessary.

However, Pfizer and Moderna claim third shots are needed because the first 2 injections are "wearing off" and antibody levels are decreasing among the fully vaccinated population.

Neither Pfizer nor Modern vaccines prevent the spread of the virus or prevent the fully vaccinated from contracting the virus.

Pfizer and Moderna have applied to the FDA for full approval of their vaccines.

About 50% of the U.S. population have been fully vaccinated.

Steve Jennings/FilmMagic

Embattled rapper DaBaby apparently deleted his official apology to the LGBT+ community from his Instagram page.

The formal apology was posted to DaBaby's IG page last week -- before he was dropped from the Lollapalooza lineup and replaced with rapper Young Thug.

DaBaby was "canceled" after uttering anti-HIV and anti-LGBT+ comments during his set at Rolling Loud music festival in Miami last month.

He has since lost lucrative summer concert gigs including the Governors Ball, Parklife, Day N Vegas, ACL Fest, and the iHeartRadio Music Festival, among others.

Gerardo Mora/Getty Images

On Friday, Aug. 6, it was announced singer Ne-Yo will replace DaBaby in the lineup at the Can't Wait Live concert scheduled for Friday, Aug. 13, in Philadelphia.

The 29-year-old rapper reportedly refused to meet with LGBT+ and HIV/AIDS groups to develop a comprehensive anti-stigma HIV and LGBT+ campaign.
 
READ ALSO: DaBaby rejects calls by LGBT+ and HIV/AIDS Organizations to meet
 
GLAAD published an open letter to DaBaby on its website.

The organization asked DaBaby to "be a powerful and influential voice" within the Black community and to "become an agent of truth and change."

LGBT+ groups fear DaBaby, whose real name is Jonathan Kirk, has sabotaged their efforts to raise HIV awareness and decrease LGBT+ stigma in the Black community.