Unfortunately, with all the great things Johnson and other advocates have done for the welfare of humanity, sometimes there is a concern that the message is lost in the glitz of the parties and fundraising, especially when it comes to AIDS/HIV causes. While Johnson does not doubt it happens, she firmly believes for her and her husband the message is never lost.

“Because we have a personal testimony, the message doesn’t get lost. We always bring it back to the issue at hand,” says Johnson.

cookie_johnson copy-3Johnson, who has always relied on her faith but went deeper with it at the beginning of this journey, contemplates on the past twenty-two years and what it means to share with and serve others. “It means EVERYTHING! I honestly believe God blesses people to bless other people. I don’t think God gave Earvin the disease, but he gave him purpose to talk about it,” reflects Johnson. “When God blesses you with monetary things he doesn’t give it to you to keep it. I wouldn’t even feel right if I didn’t do this. It’s part of who we are.”

Johnson further reflects, “I think there is more we can do [for the AIDS/HIV cause]. We just need to sit down and figure it out. I don’t think the government is doing enough. I think if more organizations come together and figure out what needs to be done we can get the government to respond to do more.”

Her ultimate wish is for the disease to end. How do we do this? How do we stop new infections from arising? Johnson believes it is simple, but requires persistent work to get people to listen; self educate and take advantage of preventions.

Johnson just may get her wish. At press time, reports were circulating that a Mississippi toddler had been “functionally cured” of HIV. Meaning, because of early intervention with antiretroviral drugs, the virus is small and long term treatment is not needed and standard clinical tests cannot detect the virus.

“If people can respect one another, maybe we can have a world free of HIV and AIDS. We can have a new generation starting off free from the disease,” says an optimistic Johnson. “This disease can stop if people will take the time to understand it.