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Aids doesn't exist!
Jun 11, 2002

Dear Doctor,

I was recently in the dentist office and picked up one of those boring magazines, to pass the time while they were getting ready to drill my teeth. I began to read an article in a magazine about AIDS that I found interesting. It is about a group of people who are infected with HIV/AIDS who do not believe the disease exist and that it is just a disease made up so all those pharmaceutical companies can make money off of people and so the government to get back at minorities/gays, etc. There was an article about a woman who even though she was HIV positive, refused to test her child and breast feed him as well. I found this article very disturbring. I can not remember what this so called group called themselves, I believe they are based out of San Francisco, but have you heard about this? The group went on to say that they continued to have unprotected sex......

I was just curious, I know you are busy, but I thought I would pose this question.

Thanks, Christy

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Christy,

Oh yes, I'm well aware of this very unfortunate and misinformed group. Collectively, they are referred to as AIDS denialists in that they deny that HIV causes AIDS and that AIDS even exists. The group in San Francisco is called ACT UP/San Francisco, but this is not the same ACT UP group of AIDS activists who helped lower drug prices and forced the US government to confront the AIDS crisis. That old ACT UP group is now called Survive AIDS/San Francisco. The denialists in San Francisco have a long list of felony and misdemeanor counts filed against them, stemming from their activities over the past few years. Of note, one of the founders of the denialist group is in the hospital suffering from cryptococcal meningitis, which he attributes to the stress of being in jail and the jailhouse diet. However, the National Institutes of Health's website states that Cryptococcal meningitis is a "life-threatening infection of the membranes that line the brain and spinal cord. . . caused by a fungus . . . . The majority of people with cryptococcal meningitis have immune systems that are damaged by disease, such as AIDS, or suppressed by drugs." Despite this life-threatening opportunistic infection, the denialists' irrational beliefs continue. I'm glad the article you saw was in one of those "boring magazines" in the dental office waiting room. Hopefully it, along with the Dan Quayle's words of wisdom pamphlets will soon find their way into the dentist's trash bin where they belong.

Stay well. Hope you didn't have any cavities. Remember, safe sex each time, every time, and, oh yes, don't forget to floss!

Dr. Bob

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