Magic Johnson has credited AIDS activist Elizabeth Glaser and early HIV detection for saving his life.

The 52-year-old Johnson announced in 1991 that he had tested positive for HIV, the virus which causes AIDS, and that he would retire from the NBA immediately.

Appearing Monday on ABC's The View, Johnson credited early detection and Glaser, who founded the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, for saving his life.

“Early detection actually saved my life and a then there was a woman, Elizabeth Glaser, who was dying of AIDS at that time, who actually blessed me with the knowledge of what I would have to go through,” Johnson told the women sitting on the show's sofa.

“And she said, 'Look, you're going to have to be the face of this disease. And she helped myself, and then she helped my wife Cookie. Because my wife Cookie was having a problem not understanding what it meant for me, if I'm going to be here for a long time.”

He added that he would have kept playing basketball “If I knew what I know today.”

“Back then, had one drug, now they have 30 drugs. So that's why we urge people to go get tested. Because early detection can actually save your life. I work out every day. And also a positive attitude about it.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)