The scientific evidence for HIV/AIDS

AIDS denialist Christine Maggiore dies at 52

Christine Maggiore and daughterChristine Maggiore and daughterThe Lost Angeles Times reports that Christine Maggiore has become the latest HIV-positive AIDS denialist to die after refusing AIDS treatment. The cause of death has not yet been confirmed, but is likely to be AIDS-related. Maggiore founded the "Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives" denialist organisation and wrote and self-published a book What If Everything You Thought You Knew about AIDS Was Wrong? Her 3-year old daughter Eliza Jane Scovill died of AIDS-related pneumonia after Maggiore had refused to take medication to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV or to have the child tested for HIV. For more information, see our page on denialists who have died.

Update: The Bay Area Reporter quotes Matthew Sharp sharply criticising Maggiore's denialist activities:

Of course it is a personal decision to choose not to take medical treatment for life threatening conditions but for a person with HIV to go on a personal crusade to brainwash people into believing HIV does not cause AIDS and fooling them to disbelieve life saving treatment is pure insanity," Matthew Sharp, a longtime AIDS activist and former member of the now-defunct ACT UP/Golden Gate and its later incarnation, Survive AIDS, told the Bay Area Reporter. "However, Maggiore, like several other well-known HIV-positive denialists, made their own choices and consequently dug their own graves.

From the LA Times:

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.

On Saturday, Maggiore died at her Van Nuys home, leaving a husband, a son and many unanswered questions. She was 52. According to officials at the Los Angeles County coroner's office, she had been treated for pneumonia in the last six months. Because she had recently been under a doctor's care, no autopsy will be performed unless requested by the family, they said. Her husband, Robin Scovill, could not be reached for comment.
Maggiore's friends said she underwent a holistic "cleanse" last month that left her feeling ill. "She was telling me that she wasn't feeling great," [Brian] Carter said, adding that he questioned whether the pneumonia was related to AIDS.