Monday, January 05, 2009

Another AIDS denialist bites the dust - AIDS related death

Schadenfreude is that uniquely German expression describing the pleasure someone derives from watching/enjoying someone else's misery. Of course, we should not really enjoy someone else's misery, even less so someone else's premature, preventable death. Sometimes though, especially when the harm is self-inflicted and very predictable, one can't help but feel somewhat schadenfreudig.

Well, on this occasion, another HIV denialist bit the dust. Christine Maggiore died of an AIDS related illness (a typical AIDS indicator disease, pneumonia) late December. Maggiore's main claim to fame (other than founding the Italian design company Allessi) was that she was HIV positive but refused to take any anti-HIV medication. She belonged to a small band of HIV denialists who continue to insist that HIV has nothing to do with AIDS.

Worse than her harming herself, however, being pregnant twice, she also refused to take HIV mother-to-child-prevention medication during pregnancy, with the result that one of her kids became HIV infected, and eventually died on AIDS. All of this she did in the face of overwhelming empirical evidence of the life-preserving capacities of standard HIV medicines. The coroner in the US, at the time, declared the child's death to be AIDS related. A HIV denialist retained by Maggiore (a veterinary toxicologist of all things) declared that her daughter died as a result of an allergic reaction to amoxicillin. Maggiore lived a 'healthy life', ie a life without any drugs. According to the denialist community she should have been able to live forever, sadly at the age of 52 she died a premature death caused by AIDS.

Well, what can one say other than that stubbornness in the face of overwhelming evidence is a pretty silly thing. One got to give her credit tho for sacrificing her life in order to be able to stick credibly to her obviously false beliefs on HIV.

3 comments:

  1. Christine Maggiore was misled by Peter Duesberg into thinking that HIV is harmless and HIV treatments are toxic poison . Ultimately she promoted this same pseudoscience-based denialism at her own peril. Many others were harmed by her relentless spreading 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.

    Thanks for posting this story. It does not take long to figure out that AIDS denialism is the same phenomenon as holocaust denial and 9/11 truth seeking. He sad story of AIDS denialism that enmeshed Christine Maggiore is told in a new book coming out Denying AIDS: Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, and Human Tragedy (all Royalties donated to buy HIV medications in Africa) published by Springer/Copernicus Books. You can read more at http://denyingaids.blogspot.com/

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  2. And what will become of Maggiore's "Alive and Well" website, now that she no longer is either?

    So,Udo, where is that mythical place one can go to escape Xmas? Other than, say, Marion Island down in the Roaring Forties? The least I expect is a great climate and something I like to refer to as 'civilization'. Please advise well before Xmas 2009!
    (Clara)

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