Guest Blogger

HIV Denial Kills

Filed By Guest Blogger | January 04, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Living
Tags: Christine Maggiore, HIV coping skills, Justin Smith, Justin's HIV Journal

Editors' Note: Justin B. Smith is a 28 year old Air Force veteran and gay and AIDS activist from Baltimore, MD. He writes Justin's HIV Journal.

HIV denialist Christine Maggiore, 52 died on the 27th of December. Maggorie was a Italian-American woman who founded the organization of Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives, a nonprofit group that questions whether or not HIV causes AIDS.

On national television and in a blistering book, she denounced research showing that HIV causes AIDS. She refused to take medications to treat her own virus. She gave birth to two children and breast-fed them, denying any risk to their health. And when her 3-year-old child, Eliza Jane, died of what the coroner determined to be AIDS-related pneumonia, she protested the findings and sued the county.

Alive and Well is centered around HIV-positive mothers, like Maggiore who don't want to take meds while pregnant. Maggiore was diagnosed as being HIV positive in 1992. Her organization promotes women, who are already HIV infected who plan to breast-feed their babies (a known route of HIV transmission). She also was the author of an HIV denialist book, What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?

In May 2005 the County Coroner determined that Majorie's 3 year old daughter. Eliza Jane Scovill, died of AIDS-related pneumonia. In the following year the court decided not to file criminal charges against Maggorie and her husband for not having their two children tested for the HIV virus.

Maggorie's way of thinking is just one example how many people view the HIV virus.

Many people that have a HIV denialist way of thinking contact me at Justin's HIV Journal on YouTube to tell me that I'm poisoning myself because I take HIV medications. A lot of them eat foods and take vitamins as an alternate way of treating their HIV. Changing to a healthier diet is a smart move, but changing your diet isn't enough. You need to seek medical attention for HIV. I've had trouble with my meds, but my body has gotten adjusted to them and I've changed my diet and how much alcohol I consume and when.

This is just one of the messages that I've received on Justin's HIV Journal.

Justin you have reason to be scared if you remain in the CLUTHCHES of the HIV/AIDS Establishment! They'll do you in brother .. there's no doubt about that. You are such a DIVINE, adorable soul & deserve all the LOVE, COMPASSION & CONCERN that comes your way. You don't have to worry about HIV - it means IMMUNITY! So relax! Now get in touch with DAVID CROWE and/or Christine at That where I truly HOPE to hear you again! Love .. South Africa"

This comment was posted in response to this episode of Justin's HIV Journal:

This comment listed above is trying to pressure me to be apart of the same way of thinking that Christine Maggiore subscribed to.

A couple of months ago a study came out with a life expectancy for people who live with HIV in this country. A person who is 20 years old and starting medications can expect to live to about 69 which is a vast improvement when not taking meds at all.

I'm not blaming this woman for killing her child, but I do think she is partly to blame for not getting either one of her children tested for HIV. This hurts me to see that there are people who actually think this way. It's my treatment and my life.

It's ironic that this woman's death is on my birthday December 27, 2008.

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Christine Maggiore was mislead by Peter Duesberg. Ultimately she promoted their pseudoscience at her own peril. Many others were harmed by her relentless promoting of false information that confused people about HIV testing and treatment.
The misinformation and disinformation of denialism is dangerous because the Internet easily allows fakes and frauds to masquerade as genuine doctors and scientists. Denialism tells people with HIV what they want to hear – that HIV does not exist, that AIDS is caused by stress, and that taking vitamins and eating healthy will make everything ok. But it does not. It did not for Christine Maggiore and will not for anyone else with HIV/AIDS.

The sad story of AIDS denialism that enmeshed Christine Maggiore is told in a new book Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy (all Royalties donated to buy HIV medications in Africa)

The best treatment is to take the medicines that are right for you and to simply let your doctor know if you're also using any holistic remedies so there's not any interaction. Diet and exercise remain two ways to help folks feel better at least whether you're HIV+ or not.

Wow. I didn't know there were still HIV deniers out there.