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Christine Maggiore, Outspoken AIDS Denialist, Is Dead at 52

January 6, 2009

Christine Maggiore, an HIV-positive woman and an AIDS denialist, died late last month in her California home at the age of 52. Maggiore, who refused to take HIV medications and was outspoken in her belief that HIV did not cause AIDS, was diagnosed with HIV in 1992. Her official cause of death has not yet been made official, though she had reportedly been treated for pneumonia in the past several months.

Initially an HIV/AIDS activist, within a few years of her HIV diagnosis Maggiore became a critic of evidence-based science regarding HIV. Although she had no formal training in science or medicine, she insisted that HIV did not cause AIDS, and thought that other viral illnesses,

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Reader Comments:

Comment by: Elly (Germany) Thu., May. 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm EDT
She'll burn in hell ... for the life of her litttle daughter and the retarded peoples who believed her sick theories.
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Comment by: aidsvictimssisterinlaw (NJ) Tue., Aug. 2, 2011 at 7:34 pm EDT
I am not sure I really believe that this woman was an "AIDS Denialist"; I am suspecting that she did not want to take medications because she feared they might be too toxic. My husband, who is from Korea and was adopted by Swedish family in Long Island, had a gay brother who perished of AIDS in 1995 when treatment options were limited. My husband told me about the abnormal body shape changes and facial wasting that occurred with some of these earlier drugs (particularly Zerit, AZT, Videx, and Crixivan). His brother was not an AIDS denialist; however, he did try medications and could not stick to them because they were causing him extreme pain and making him tired and weak. People who are newly diagnosed with HIV in wealthy countries today are still rather afraid to start medications because of lipodystrophy and other side effects (i.e., organ damage, peripheral neuropathy, etc.), but most doctors tell their patients not to worry about it because today's drugs are much less likely to cause these problems. Perhaps if this woman had changed her mind and decided to start meds in 2004, when treatment options had already started to increase, she might still be alive today and perhaps her young daughter, too. I do agree with most that her refusal to test her daughter for HIV was morally wrong, but maybe she was afraid that her daughter might have suffered from side effects from meds. At least, her husband and son were lucky to escape infection and still be alive. Whether she was really a denialist or just afraid of side effects, nobody -- not even a doctor -- can force a patient to take medications if he or she doesn't want to. I think it is amazing that she was able to live so long with HIV without medications. My brother-in-law was not so lucky at all; he was infected with HIV only a few years but had a very aggressive strain of the virus that did him in very quickly, even though he did try medications.
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Comment by: Dudu (South Africa) Thu., Apr. 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm EDT
I think the lady was not well informed and she wanted to prove that HIV turns to AIDS and was indeed proven.
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Comment by: HIV+ in T.O. (Toronto, Canada) Sat., Jan. 31, 2009 at 2:47 pm EST
I can remember when i was first diagnosed hearing a counter-argument to the statement that "HIV causes AIDS" gave me a sense of hope... i think that is why people listen to deniers like Christine - it gives them an alternative to the fear and despair you feel when you are dealing with your own mortality. It didn't take long for the hope to turn into a feeling of betrayal for me - denialist theory is costing people access to treatment that could save their lives.
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Comment by: joseph (newark,nj) Tue., Jan. 27, 2009 at 11:20 am EST
I think christine was blessed to live as long as she did,she gambled with her life. I say to any one with HIV,take your meds until the creator gives someone the key to unlock this virus.
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Comment by: PoodleStomper (San Francisco) Mon., Jan. 26, 2009 at 2:45 pm EST
Somewhere in the deepest depths of whatever hell is reserved for those who would keep life-saving medications from the poorest of Africa we hear "Why me!? Why not those who ate Oscar Mayer lunchables and took 'toxic' antiretrovirals"?
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Comment by: Kate (philadelphia) Sun., Jan. 25, 2009 at 10:02 am EST
We have to remember that countless people have died because of her irresponsible guidance. Yet even after witnessing her own daughter's death, she remained stubbornly enthralled with these completely nonsensical ideas.
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Comment by: David G (New York, NY) Thu., Jan. 22, 2009 at 7:27 am EST
Sure, HIV uses "cofactors", individual differences in genetics that can make one person more suceptible than another. However, without the virus, no one gets AIDS. (Some people do get opportunistic infections like PCP, Kaposi sarcoma, but from other immune causes...) The likely explanation for the rapid decline of so many HIV infected people in the early 80s was twofold - there were no meds, and there was no test. So the only people getting routine testing were people already having symptoms (PCP, KS, etc). These were already sick people with low CD4s. We only saw what was above the surface of the water in the iceberg that was HIV/AIDS. So many people were asymptomatic, slower progressors and were not discovered to have HIV. The assertion that HIV would kill everyone brutally fast except for some other mystery factor (the putative "real" cause of AIDS in denialist circles) seems unlikely. Influenza, pneumonia, meningitis from any number of infectious pathogens don't kill everyone that contracts them, but that doesn't mean the infectious virion or bacteria didn't "cause" the disease. We can look for host specific factors, and they might help in treatment, but clearly, prevention from acquiring HIV or elimination of HIV itself in a given person would trump all of the research into host factors in terms of solving the epidemic...
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Comment by: Moishe (Israel) Fri., Jan. 16, 2009 at 6:23 pm EST
I think she was suicidal. I really don't get it when people say HIV doesnt cause AIDS... so what kills the T-cells? you can choose not to take the meds (very tempting indeed), but one cannot be so irresponsable and put lives in danger like this.
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Comment by: Hawai Huck (Honolulu, HI) Thu., Jan. 15, 2009 at 1:48 pm EST
Dear Tony F. L.A.,
WHO'S KNOCKING VITAMINS AND EXERCISE??? MY GOD!!! Noone on this thread!!!
After surviving this plague for 22 years it's a miracle I'm still alive because for most of those years I was doing just what you are doing, testing the strength of my body and waiting. That's what nearly killed me!!! HELLO!!! After a while you stay in that denial mindset and don't realize you are slowly wasting away your muscle, energy, vitality and life. It sneaks up on you and before you know it it's way too late,...or in my case nearly too late. By that time my T-Cells were under 100. Tony, I just want the best for you, so you don't have to go through what I went through, it's HELL being 100 T-Cells or less!!! Walking with a cane getting sick. Then it'll take literally years to come back to a normal life if ever!!!,...Or to achieve normal T-Cells (Im currently @ only 384 T-Cells today)
All I'm saying is to stay healthy by taking vitamins, eating right, excercise and,...TAKE YOUR MEDS!!!
Talk about money hungery business' I've gotten soo many phoney offers & chased soo many WILD GOOSE chases from the vitamin/health food industry (WHICH IS UNREGULATED!!!). it's so sad how they make wild unfounded claims, to sadly rip off the desperately sick and dying!
There needs to be more regulation/proof before we can trust the entire health industry!
So YES,..take your vitamins, eat REAL FOOD (NOT PROCESSED), LIFT WEIGHTS, do cardio, but PLEASE TAKE YOUR HIV MEDICATION!!!
Aloha, Hawai Huck
Living to Laugh and Love!!!
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Comment by: Andrew (Roanoke, VA) Thu., Jan. 15, 2009 at 9:38 am EST
I've had HIV for 24 years. There has been a direct correlation between my viral load increasing and my CD4 count decreasing. (Which happened while I was taking care of myself and stopped all meds due to side-effects, which I've restarted to great results). I believe the issue and problems are that she had a platform of misinformation out there that can lead others to deny what they have and PASSING IT ON TO OTHERS because "what's the big deal?". I always say question what's out there but this one, I'm afraid, is a done deal. My prayers are for her family left here and the loss they feel, no matter what they feel took her. I know I will die of this disease because of the virus known as HIV. Yes the meds can be hell but they can slow the progress. I think of myself as having a pretty scientific mind and have done studies based on my own meds/bloodwork/clinical presentation. I know what's real and HIV causes AIDS -- no doubt about it whatsoever.
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Comment by: Tony F. (Los Angeles, CA) Tue., Jan. 13, 2009 at 8:52 pm EST
Whats all this 'preying on the uneducated' talk. Christine was not uneducated. I'm a college grad myself, and I believe she had a lot of good points.

Guys.. a doctor is a profession... no different than a lawyer or a car mechanic. They have services to sell you. They would rather sell you their services than let you walk out their door. There is nothing wrong with that, but don't for an instant think that their primary motive is to be altruistic.

Sure, hiv can make you sick. And sure, meds can limit the amount of hiv in your system. I don't disagree with that.

But you're being a little narrowminded to say that eating healthy, exercise, vitamins, don't have a profound effect too. Currently, i'm testing my body... i'm seeing if a strong body can keep up a strong immune system w/o meds. Don't hate me for that. You should be rooting for me. But as the old saying goes, "misery loves company". You want me on meds because it'll make you feel better about YOU being on meds.
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Comment by: kate Tue., Jan. 13, 2009 at 12:35 am EST
People are still at risk for believing people like Christine.

If you care about this issue, there is something you can do. Visit Amazon.com and search for Maggoire's book and let people know what a quack she is. You can post comments there http://www.amazon.com/gp/richpub/syltguides/fullview/DA2L0JFL8D37/ref=cm_syt_dtpa_f_2_rdssss0?pf_rd_p=253457301&pf_rd_s=sylt-center&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=0967415306&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=1SH2YY449316SSDRS8RY

Christine and her friends post nice reviews for each other and make is seem that the consensus is that she's right! Gary Null does the same thing on Youtube (do a search on you tube for Gary Null's AIDS documentary). He's another delusional denialist who gets his friends to review his work and on the web this makes it look like he has an audience of intelligent people (which he doesn't!)

Every day uneducated, scared people with HIV are seduced by these nuts to throw away their medications and drink smoothies. They are told HIV is not infectious so they don't need to use condoms. THey are told vitamins can help them. They are told that HIV medications will kill them. The only way to stop this recruitment on the web is for people living with HIV to testify on the web to how wrong these people are. So search for Gary Null and Christine Maggoire and Peter Duesberg and make it known that they are misleading people! I have known too many people who died following the lead of these nuts.
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Comment by: Hawai Huck (Honolulu, HI) Mon., Jan. 12, 2009 at 2:23 pm EST
This comment is for Scott in Seattle,...Dude, Fact 100% of "ALL" humanity regardless of health will eventually die!!! Use common sense dude everyone will die!!! And,...

WTF is your point!

I rest my case you have no logical point!!!
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Comment by: kate Mon., Jan. 12, 2009 at 9:53 am EST
I'm really surprised at the people who admire and defend Christine. Why is it ok for a middle class woman to make medical recommendations to the vulnerable and uneducated? Why would anyone support this rich woman from dissuading people from taking medicines that can save their lives. She went on the cover of an "alternative" women's magazine and talked about why she wouldn't take any medications to prevent her child from becoming HIV positive and also she breastfed against doctor's recommendations. Then when her daughter died of AIDS-related causes, she denied this fact and said the LA coroner was corrupt. What sort of moral standards do you have if you accept this sort of irresponsible behavior as freedom of speech? Look at her site www.aliveandwell.org and you'll see that if you knew nothing about the long history of HIV research and nothing about the milions of actual people with HIV helped by HIV meds, then you may believe her nonsensical assertions.
On her site she also questions HIV tests and basically notes that it's probably fruitless to get tested for HIV. She also stupidly questions "heterosexual HIV" although presumably that's how she got HIV and how more than 250,000 women in the U.S. got HIV. There is a long list of her sins. Remember many many people have died because of her stance. She lead them to their death.We cannot count them because they are not well known and their family did not sue Christine. Currently Gary Null, a vitamin salesman from NY, is doing the same thing with fake documentaries and nonsensical books. He's on YouTube and on Amazon. Go there an you'll see lots of positive notes about his "insightful" work. Believe it or not, there are many people afraid of HIV treatment who would rather believe a clothing importer (Christine) and a man who makes his money selling vitamins (Null). So the danger of these people must be acknowledged if we are to stop people from dying because they listen to these nuts!
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Comment by: kate Mon., Jan. 12, 2009 at 9:52 am EST
I'm really surprised at the people who admire and defend Christine. Why is it ok for a middle class woman to make medical recommendations to the vulnerable and uneducated? Why would anyone support this rich woman from dissuading people from taking medicines that can save their lives. She went on the cover of an "alternative" women's magazine and talked about why she wouldn't take any medications to prevent her child from becoming HIV positive and also she breastfed against doctor's recommendations. Then when her daughter died of AIDS-related causes, she denied this fact and said the LA coroner was corrupt. What sort of moral standards do you have if you accept this sort of irresponsible behavior as freedom of speech? Look at her site www.aliveandwell.org and you'll see that if you knew nothing about the long history of HIV research and nothing about the milions of actual people with HIV helped by HIV meds, then you may believe her nonsensical assertions.
On her site she also questions HIV tests and basically notes that it's probably fruitless to get tested for HIV. She also stupidly questions "heterosexual HIV" although presumably that's how she got HIV and how more than 250,000 women in the U.S. got HIV. There is a long list of her sins. Remember many many people have died because of her stance. She lead them to their death.We cannot count them because they are not well known and their family did not sue Christine. Currently Gary Null, a vitamin salesman from NY, is doing the same thing with fake documentaries and nonsensical books. He's on YouTube and on Amazon. Go there an you'll see lots of positive notes about his "insightful" work. Believe it or not, there are many people afraid of HIV treatment who would rather believe a clothing importer (Christine) and a man who has no medical education and makes his money selling vitamins (Null). So the danger of these people must be acknowledged if we are to stop people from dying because they listen to these nuts!
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Comment by: nick chan (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) Mon., Jan. 12, 2009 at 4:56 am EST
She does not deserve any respect. This is not a simple "her choice" matter. Her choice caused others to follow her.
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Comment by: James (Cape Town, South Africa) Mon., Jan. 12, 2009 at 3:47 am EST
A very sad story, but not one to dwell on. Here in South Africa denialist kill! Not only themselves but also poor, uneducated individuals who desperately want to believe that HIV doesnt cause AIDS.
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Comment by: Stephanie (Seattle) Mon., Jan. 12, 2009 at 12:52 am EST
She lived for 17yrs without medication? it seems she was a long time survivor. I respect her choice because we all have our own lifes and decisions. This was her choice and i believe we all need to respect it.
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Comment by: Steve Skeete (Bridgtown, Barbados) Sun., Jan. 11, 2009 at 4:50 pm EST
I am not familiar with Christine Maggiore, nevertheless her case is indeed tragic.

I was also not aware that there was an official "denialist" movement, even though I know that such high profile figures as the former South African President and his Minister of Health had grave reservations about the virus and the disease.

It is said that "a man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still". Some people just will not be convinced; so you simply have to treat them when they get sick and hope they will see the light.

If Christine wanted to die then that was her
choice. What I want to know is how did taking her child with her become her choice as well?

Calling her action based on her convictions murder seems a bit harsh, but obviously the authorities need to take a careful look at this precedent (if indeed it is).

Christine's action may serve to strenghten the view of some that no parent should have the right of life or death over their child, born or unborn. Something will obviously have to be done to protect innocent children from parents who believe the way Christine did.
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Comment by: Donald (Phoenix, AZ) Sun., Jan. 11, 2009 at 3:39 pm EST
When I look back on the choices I've made, I value that I made them consciously with honest attempts to be true to myself while respecting others and using what I believed to be true as intelligently and responsibly as possible. Years ago, I read her book and website as well as others like it. I met more than once with the AIDS anti-establishment activists in San Francisco. I also met and talked with establishment doctors, scientists and activists. My own investigation led me to choose continued drug treatment for HIV. I'm still here at 59, relatively healthy, working and living an active life after 23 years of known HIV infection and 16 years of treatment with supposedly deadly drugs. Christine Maggiore evaluated the same situation I did and came to different conclusions, committed to a different path and died at 52. To assume that I am alive because I took drugs and Christine is dead because she didn't is too simple-minded for my taste. The landscape of science is too littered with supposed facts that turned out to be untrue for me to forget that science admits it deals with theories rather than fact and the best of theories are open to being disproved. Christine may have been deluded and her delusions may have hastened her death and her child's, but she also exhibited extraordinary courage and passion in speaking to a hostile and angry world about what she believed to be true. I think she believed she was fighting to save her own and other people's lives. Viewing her life and actions in that context, I can be saddened by her passing rather than angered by its cause and I can be certain that she did not murder anyone...because murder requires an intent she did not have. I find my own health and longevity are better served by endeavoring not to be unkind to others no matter how good an excuse I think I have.
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Comment by: Scott (Seattle) Sat., Jan. 10, 2009 at 10:46 pm EST
One common fact that cannot be disputed by denialists or treatment compliant HIV patients is there will be a 100% guarantee of dying.And if you haven't accepted that you are in denial.
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Comment by: Scott (Seattle) Sat., Jan. 10, 2009 at 5:14 pm EST
Mis-information comes from both denialists and from mainstream media.HIV is a real virus but the evidence it is the cause of AIDS is still theory.There must be co-factors or everyone infected would die soon after exposure and they don't.What you almost never see in media reports is that much of what was first reported about in HIV research was discredited a few years later.Many new things have been found to be co-factors too.People were starting to look to alternative health care and living longer BEFORE the protease inhibitors hit the market in 1996.By 1996 research showed promise treating severely ill patients with the protease inhibitors.Media and doctors ran with this new "proof" that HIV was the cause of AIDS and could now be treated.Research dollars stopped going to other treatments that were showing promise.Now, almost all research is driven by the drug companies and dropped if it is not going to profit their drug sales.All outside research and claims of co-factors being more of the indicator as to whether a person advances to AIDS are discredited before the theories are even tested.People, you need to use your common sense when it comes to treatment.Christine Maggiore was expressing her opinion about HIV based on information available before new research came out.Now getting diagnosed early and with new meds after 2000 HIV patients do have better outcomes than in the past.The majority of people treated for HIV/AIDS in USA are on assistance to pay for treatment.In third world countries most people don't have that option.Demanding more than one theory on a disease or illness is not denialist it is common sense.We should all demand more objective study on how the human immune system works not just let unproven theory pass as fact.
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Comment by: Jeff Breitbart (West Hollywood, CA) Sat., Jan. 10, 2009 at 1:34 pm EST
Although i am not a religious person, you reap what you sow. There is every reason to be critical of and examine scientific research, but having been there in the '80s when everyone was dying, it's hard to believe people hold on to these theories.

It's a shame her child had to die because of her stupidity.
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Comment by: Hawai Huck (Honolulu, Hawaii) Fri., Jan. 9, 2009 at 2:09 pm EST
I hope to reach out to all of you who are HIV denialists and supporters of Christine,...Scott (Seattle), Tony F. (L.A.), etc...
First of all lets go back in history, back when they called AIDS, "the Gay Cancer," the medical community didn't know what to do. Yes, people died of over dosing of AZT,...why? because they didn't have the correct dosing. Remember?,...they were telling us to set our alarm clocks in the middle of the night to take our AZT! The dosing was way to high and hard for those who were so sick!
Does medicine have side effects? Yes! Is it hell taking HIV meds? It used to be so, however today it's really not so bad! Mind you I'm comparing what it feels like having 20 T-Cells, to today, with less debilitating side effects of the newer HIV medications.
Fact, people stopped dying of HIV/AIDS by the droves in 1996,...because of Protease Inhibitors!!! I can testify to this fact!
I believe all of us pozers, at some point in our journey have been in a state of denial. So I have compassion for you all, Christine and her baby. Don't let those who died early on from alleged AZT over doses, cause your early deaths...who knows all the contributing factors in those early days?
I just wish you would change your attitudes, so that you can realize a more fulfilling life than being so sick when your T-Cells fall below 100. Take my word for it, it's not a pretty site! I thank God for these meds that have brought me back to life again!!!
Nurra (New York) there was nothing phoney about my recovery and countless others recovery from the precipice of death, back to life.
Tom (Tampa, Florida) there is a thing called AIDS Drug Assistamce Program (ADAP), thanks to Ryan White those who cannot afford HIV meds don't have to pay for even a co-pay!
God help us all, except for the Grace of God there go I!
Use the brain God gave to you!
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Comment by: james (Los Angeles) Fri., Jan. 9, 2009 at 9:16 am EST
I was diagnosed in 2004. I took my meds religiously for two years. I read about Christine and visited her site and read what she had to say, and I in turn convinced myself that I could stop taking my meds as they were toxic and dangerous. And since I always felt sick to my stomach and overall yucky, I figured the meds were NOT improving my quality of life. I did not go to my dr for advice or follow ups. I do not use drugs, drink, smoke and ecercise regularly. This past summer (2008) I started to notice (as did other people) a slight wasting look to my face. I was getting very thin and became tired frequently. I came down with the "flu" or so I thought in July. I was sick as a dog. Weird redness to my eyes that no eye drops would remove, burning sensation on my tongue when I ate anything even slightly spicey...coughing up mucus. I continued to exercise religiously and eat clean and take my supplements. I ended up getting so sick I could barely get out of bed. I went to the emergency room and was admitted to the hospital for tests. Three days later I got my results back- I had 11 tcells and my viral load was 88k+. 6 months later I am doing a lot better. Viral load is undetectable and my t cells have raised to 130. I am thankful to be alive. I didn't take my disease seriously and believed all the conspiracy theorists and thought I was strong enough to beat this on my own....wrong! I am more than happy to take my pills, drink my Mepron daily and take a couple antibiotics once a week. I am alive now because of medicine.
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Comment by: Sérgio (Southern Brazil) Fri., Jan. 9, 2009 at 6:13 am EST
HI, I am a 44 years old man who was infected in 1991. I became aware of my positive status back in 1994 and, by that time, I was seduced by the idea of the AIDS "conspiracy". Well, it took 10 years for me to be proven very wrong about this worldwide epidemics...In 2001 my CD4 count droped to 44 and I got pneumocistosis...After 25 days in the hospital, I've changed my perspective and started taking meds for HIV. My weight was 57 kg. After three months I gained 25 kg. Today, after 8 years on meds my CD4 is above 550. Well, I am a fortunate man who had the humility to reconsider my position. This was (and is) the difference between life and death for me...today I have a productive life, I have been married for 8 years and have a three year old daughter (conceived with a donor's sperm)..,so, I am a living proof of what a denialist philosophy can do to a HIV positive person. Fortunatelly it was not too late to change my mind and choose life instead of death by ignorance.

cheers,

Sérgio
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Comment by: Tukwasibwe Valentine (Uganda) Fri., Jan. 9, 2009 at 4:47 am EST
The story of Christine reminds me about a certain South African Leader who, despite the high prevalence level of HIV infections in his Country,denied the relationship between HIV and AIDS and thus delayed some legislation on universal access to HIV meds.Of course all this adds up to ignorance in the name of freedom of thought.
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Comment by: AL (Florida) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 11:10 pm EST
Christine died of the disease she denied having. She made up all sorts of stories, most nonsensical. Her silly site aliveandwell.org is a hoot! She claims that "the symptoms associated with AIDS are treatable using non-toxic, immune enhancing therapies that have restored the health of people diagnosed with AIDS. " Yeah and if you break your leg, you should rub some bananas on it and it'll fix itself. And if you cut your finger, rub shoe polish on it and you'll feel better. And all doctors are out to get you and all medicines don't work and the only thing that's trustworthy are veggies and vitamins?!? Just absolute bunk based on dreams and fantasies. How could anyone not see the criminal stupidity of this woman? After all she had a theory = HIV is not dangerous and will not kill you and HIV treatment will not help you. AND she was WRONG! The average life expectancy of an american white woman is 78 years old! She died at 52. Watch her supporters say that it's "normal" for middle aged healthy women to die suddenly of pneumonia. And it's normal for 3 year olds to die suddenly of allergic reactions. And it's normal for these two odd events to happen in the same family!! We need to keep in mind that there are certain things that are really true == the success of HIV medications is astonishing. So many people are living full happy and quite healthy lives with HIV. How can these denialists be so blind?


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Comment by: tim (los angeles) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 10:13 pm EST
What a dynamic woman. I would have loved to have met her.
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Comment by: Scott (Seattle) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 8:43 pm EST
Well, I'm in the minority on comments. But what I see by the comments is most of you are denialists of death. AIDS=DEATH and meds just slow the progression down. Newer meds are helpful to the already ill and dying. Everything I have read still does not prove HIV is THE virus that causes AIDS. I'm not denying HIV is mostly present with disease progression. What I want as a person with AIDS is the right to take my $1,000 monthly drug money and use $1,000 for alternative healthcare. Go ahead call me a denialist I know I would live a better quality of life. It took mainstream industry 10 years to figure out I was HIV+ and I was the sickest I've ever been the first 6 months on early meds after diagnosis. Now I know it was the AZT killing me. Talk about DENIAL, mainstream still won't admit many of AIDS early deaths were actually from toxic drug combos. I was smart enough then to stop treatment and lived with the help of herbs and vitamins for several years and actually raised my CD-4 from 500 at diagnosis to over 700 and could still work. With no help paying for herbs and alternative healthcare VL went too high and the CD-4 fell to under 200. Why is there no serious complementary medical studies?? GREED!!I now have no VL and CD-4 count 350.Am I healthy? NO am I alive? YES Do I question Meds? Always. Since tax payers are footing the bill for most HIV treatment drugs I want them to fund my choice to have alternative treatment. I'm not in denial to have this choice. I'm sorry to say but we are all going to die someday. I'll take quality for less time over years of feeling like crap and pointing to a VL chart that says "UNDETECTABLE". I'm betting I will live longer than many of you but if I don't then point and say I was a stupid denialist. I will have enjoyed the time I had thinking for myself and making my own choices. Death is a part of life no one can avoid and it should stop being feared.
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Comment by: Tony F. (Los Angeles) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 6:35 pm EST
First off... Christine NEVER advised her listeners what to do. She gave her take, based on her own experience, and its up to the audience what to do about their own health care.

If you are going to claim that she influenced people, (for better or worse), then you must also agree that she had a damn convincing arguement.

The fact that people started dying less in 1996 onward, might just have a little something to do with the fact, not that triple cocktails are effective, but they are simply less deadly than straight up AZT.

I encourage anyone to looke up the recent Moore DM study which finds no correlation between t-cells and viral load, verses immune failure. If these numbers have little to do with resulting health, what is the point of trying to maintain these numbers thru meds?
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Comment by: canadianpaul (brighton uk) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 4:39 pm EST
HIV and the progression to AIDS is a medical fact backed up by meds that actually work wonders... responsibility for the death of her innocent daughter is a terrible legacy to leave behind... what a tragic waste!
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Comment by: HawaiHuck (Honolulu, Hawaii) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 3:17 pm EST
This comment is for "In Memory of Christine and Others" (Vancover, BC, Canada)

Wow! What rock did you crawl out from under?

In the US of A, if we don't give our children food, shelter, education, medical care etc...it's called neglect! NOONE is allowed to neglect the care of a defenseless child.

After 22 years of surviving HIV & going down to 20 T-Cells, to the precipace of death, and then coming BACK to life "ONLY" because of my HIV meds(&God),(I'm now @99VL & T-Cells @384). I have all the proof I need to tell me that Christine was tragically WRONG!

Saddly/Tragically/STUPIDLY, because of her stubborn, foolish rejection of science, both she and her child would still be alive today!

Did her child deserve to die? HELL NO!!!
Who should have thier head pulled out of WHOM'S ass?,...indeed it is you WHO IS THE FOOL!!!
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Comment by: Gerald Pennington (Carrollton, TX) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 2:17 pm EST
Ignorance is the base of so much that is wrong in our society.
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Comment by: Meg (Portland, OR) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm EST
She killed her baby, and herself. That's insane! Who has such little respect for life? This makes me so angry.
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Comment by: Eddy (United Kingdom) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 12:25 pm EST
About a year ago I was in a HIV+ chat-room and talking with a very handsome and intelligent guy of about 30. He introduced the idea that HIV is not responsible for AIDS. I was alarmed. Suddenly our conversation, which had been going well, was jeopardised. I had either to agree with him or disagree. Of course, I had to disagree. He went ballistic! Within 10 minutes or so, this guy was insulting me in the profoundest manner as being utterly brainless, stupid, and unthinking. He said he had done ALL the research, studied the matter in depth for years. Finally, he told me to go and **** myself because I was clearly ignorant. He gave me the URLs of a couple of websites devoted entirely to the idea that HIV does not cause AIDS & I was shocked to find that one of these was London-based. (London, UK!) Furthermore, on that website a couple of eminent UK doctors were cited as being in support of their belief that HIV does not cause AIDS. For a moment or two, I actually began to wonder if in fact these people were right!

However, I did a lot of calm and rational thinking, including consideration of the fact that the many AIDS wards that existed in UK hospitals no longer exist because they are no longer needed due to anti-retroviral therapy. And so I came through, and got over this encounter with a handsome, convincing, intelligent, but totally misguided NUT!

I was left though with an AWFUL realization. I am an educated articulate professional with a post-graduate career behind him. But WHAT IF some young vulnerable person, instead of me, had come in contact with that guy? He might very well have decided to chuck all the discipline of taking meds out the window! And his health would have most certainly deteriorated.

In short, I became aware that these denialists cannot just be derided as bonkers. They are literally DANGEROUS PEOPLE. Christine Maggiore was a dangerous person. She persuaded people to seriously injure themselves.
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Comment by: Billy P (California) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 12:13 pm EST
You reap what you sow. Every action or inaction has a consequence, good or bad. People always forget that.

Although Christine had the right to choose, she lost. I was diagnosed in '94 and there was nothing but AZT.

By '95, I went from 500 plus t-cells to 76 and was fighting for my life with PCP Pneumonia.

I was on a face mask for oxygen because my level was 50% and dropping(blue). My doc worked feverously to keep me from an oxygen tent. My family came to my beside to say good-by.

What actually saved my life was Crixivan. Although I am still here, no meds work anymore and nothing more is available. That's unless they prove that gene therapy can work (stem cells). Yet I continue to take my cocktail. Something is better than nothing! I choose life.

I will always have one foot in death's door. However, I believe our Creator has given doctors and researchers the knowledge they need to come up with meds/treatments, even though they may be toxic over time.

Christine flatly refused that gift of our Creator to listen to ignorance. I am a Deist, I do not acknowledge any religions (bunk). We believe in God, of Nature/Reason, and that everything is already laid out(fate). We have no "formal" church.

It's a shame but Christine now knows the truth of her ignorant decision. What ever non-corporeal life she has entered, I hope she is at peace.

We need to be careful how we judge people and their decisions because how we judge and by forcing those beliefs on the ignorant, can come back to haunt us.

CHOICE: LIVE OR DIE. Simple and logical.

May our Creator continue instilling the knowledge to combat disease/illness to our dedicated doctors and researchers.

Rest in Peace Christine.
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Comment by: Raven Anthony (San Diego, CA) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 11:36 am EST
Wow. It's really hard to read all of the hatred on this board directed towards a dead woman (who clearly had a high regard for human life and was in no way a "murderess") some of it probably from people who encourage the religious right to "not preach hate". You're really no different than Fred Phelps preaching hate at funerals when you think about it. I am sad for Christine's passing and for those who loved her, and think she only had the best of intentions, which to me defines whether a person is criminal. However as a public figure, I think her death will serve as a catalyst for change. I also had an experience quite like Stan M's. Christine's book was very compelling, but in the end, following her advice proved to be dangerous for me, and surely for countless others. I can only hope that now the wind will be taken out of the sails of this movement, which has spawned many truly criminal profiteers selling snake oil remedies, the most recent of whom is Paul Yeager, a self-proclaimed expert (who is really only a Certified Massage Therapist), whose book "Immune" is encouraging HIV positive people to drink raw liver smoothies!!! (among other life-threatening and ridiculous "cures"). To all of those "searching for the cure", please take your meds in the meantime and know that when a cure arrives, it will be publicized.
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Comment by: Bill Johnston (Phoenix AZ) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 10:49 am EST
Some people still believe the Earth is flat. But if they take a cruise, they don't fall off the edge. Unfortunately, for them, denialists DO fall off the edge when, for whatever reason, they convince themselves that they are smarter than the researchers.
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Comment by: MaryLou (Morrisville, Pa) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 9:51 am EST
My daughter died recently from Metastic Melanoma, a disease there is no treatment for. She wanted to live and would have done anything, and taken any medicine available, to make that happen.
This woman died because she did not avail herself of treatment that could have prolonged, not only her life, that that of her child.
Stupidity exists.
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Comment by: Andy (London UK) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 8:50 am EST
Everywhere in the world there are cranks like this woman, it's not just AIDS and HIV. People who think coffee enemas can cure cancer for example. But with AIDS they are particularly dangerous, this woman stood back and let her own daughter die, and by her ludicrous example, encourged others to follow her to sickness and death. Good riddance. Imagine the diffference she could have made if she'd channelled her energies into fighting for access to drugs in the developing world. It sickens me that people in the west who have access to the medications refuse to take them, when millions in Africa and Asia die because they can't get the drugs that would keep them alive and healthy. she was obviously a deeply paranoid, selfish and self obsessed woman.
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Comment by: Joe Myers (Columbia, SC) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 8:40 am EST
On the one hand I feel sorry for the death of her baby because babies are helpless. But I have no sympathy for ignorance and stupidity. She made her bed and now she can lie in it. Literally.
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Comment by: Arthur Gittleman (Bella Vista, AR) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 8:11 am EST
Christine was in denial and there are others. Part of the fault is in the blood tests that are given. CD4 blood test does not break down effector and suppresser cells. One does not really know the condition of the immune system. A doctor using these blood tests ends up in guessing the condition of the system. You take the problem of kidney on Chem Screen test when indiction of problem occurs the kidney is 70% distroyed. The fault is that the tests are way behind the times and companies in the field will not correct this because there maybe no profit for them to do so. The medicine system seems to be more on profit than science. It is no wonder that there are people in denial. Maybe not always HIV but in the case of health. When you have a health care system in the United States it is also based on culture which creates it own bias and with it flaws. As you can not separate medicine and culture. In the case of Christine she decided not to trust doctors and one can say that distrust has some good facts behind it. But in her case took her life as it was misplaced. Still the present HIV treatment is hard on people and can be improved. The are number of HIV people that try to avoid taking these drugs this lies in the many problems with the present treatment. There is toxicity, cost and resistance problems that could have been done better but the present FDA and congress have created a system that only a few large drugs companies can afford to develop drugs and the development progress takes years. It is a costly, nflexible and biased system.
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Comment by: Ted (Illinois) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 7:46 am EST
She was a nut obviously.
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Comment by: In Memory of Christine and Others (Vancouver, BC, Canada) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 4:57 am EST
Saying that she deserved to die, etc. Absolutely sickening. Who died and made you all God? None of you is in a position to judge. Those of you who have condemned Christine and others like her sicken me to my very core. The whole lot of you should go live in China, Malaysia or some country that's equally as repressive. And you American morons that are constantly going on about democracy and freedom of speech yet deny people like Christine their human rights should be slapped, doubly good and hard. We all have the right to choose how we treat our disease and what we believe about it. We all have the right to make treatment decisions regarding our children when they are ill. We also have the right to speak up and make known what our beliefs are. I laugh and shake my head at those who buy everything they are told by our medical system. Am I on meds? Yes. But I have no idea how long I will remain on them. And I didn't go on them until I was good and ready, after reading as much info as I could get. And part of that info was Christine's. People like Christine and other 'AIDS dissidents' kept me asking questions, kept me researching and kept me looking for a good doctor who would listen to me and my personal concerns regarding the HIV meds. I am also on a great deal of herbs, tinctures and homeopathic treatments because I simply do not buy that the allopathic medical establishment are 100% right about HIV and AIDS or that the supposedly latest and greatest meds are the only way to go. How long have they been 'studying' cancer? They still don't have an absolute cure for that and still don't fully understand it either. I've had many irresponsible, plain STUPID comments made to me by regular medical doctors about HIV, AIDS, taking meds, etc. These people are supposed EXPERTS in their fields. I guess we better criminalize their behavior too. And roast them over the coals of hell for good measure. Pull your heads out of your arses, fools.
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Comment by: Stan M (Portland, OR) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 4:51 am EST
In 2002 I stopped taking all my HIV medications because of Ms Maggiore's advice I was reading on the internet. All about how HIV doesn't cause aids, etc, it was all very convincing. I was infected with HIV in 1987 and had always been on some kind of mono therapy. Since I had survived for so long, "probably as a result of taking medication" I was easily convinced that HIV couldn't cause AIDS or I should have been dead. I also stopped going to my doctor as all the blood tests were also suppose to be meaningless. It took 18 months before I came down with PCP and a T-cell count of 20. Unlike her I went back on antiviral medication. I have been back on antiviral medication for 5 years now and have a T-cell count of 385 with a non-detectable viral load. I am now a 23-year survivor thanks to going back on medication. All I know is, if HIV doesn't cause AIDS, the medication sure does keep you alive and well! I want to thank all the mainstream scientist, researchers, HIV doctors and even the Drug Company’s, you all saved my life! And to the denialist out there, you are doing nothing but contributing to illness, death and destruction. You might even cause your own demise some day, as Ms Maggiore's has probably done. You might want to stop and think twice, as to if you are really qualified to advise others concerning their health care. Did you graduate from medical school? If not, may be you should just shut up!
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Comment by: Nik (London) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 4:07 am EST
At the end of the day, the world is a diverse place and people are correct to hold a healthy scepticism with regard to science and medicine, particularly given the history of the development of these disciplines. That said, reality is based on the life and death of organic life, and when it comes to the posiibility of death, one needs to be pragmatic. Prinicples and beliefs will not save you from death and disease. Pragmatism involves accepting "evidence based" practice amd research, i.e it has a proven efficacy. It therefore doesn't really matter of you deny that HIV causes AIDS. What matters is, what you choose to do about it to stay alive. Pragmatism and evidence based research holds the key to survival, because HAART is based on good research, proven efficacy, and the proof is in the results, LONGEVITY, i.e living with the HIV virus inhibited, not dying with it. To deny this, and do nothing is to chose suicide and death over life. Christine had a right to do that for her self, poor deluded woman, but she didn't have the right to make that choice for her child. That's what angers me. I think she still could have denied HIV causes AIDS and been a pragmatist and taken the drugs, but stupidity, ignorance and priniciples won the day over REASON and LIFE.
I don't condemn her but feel sorry for her child. I'm a health sceptic too, but I do what is necessary as an HIV positive person to stay alive and well. That means I take HAART because the evidence tells me they will work. And they do work. This also implies that if they inhibit HIV and prevent it leading to AIDS, then there is a causal link between the two. It's not difficult to think it all through and make the correct life enhancing choices. People live with contradictions all the time, its called cognitive dissonance. Denialists are in a permanant state of dissonance and it must be very uncomfortable for them.

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Comment by: Margaret (Australia) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 3:45 am EST
She had every right to NOT take medication but to deny her child life saving drugs was little short of premeditated murder
Why wasn't the child taken fron her by the state and medicine given to the child, then she would have been placed in care.
It would have happened in Australia, Uk and Europe
Once again and I say this with sadness, the constitution of USA is at times unbelievably stupid. Did she deserve to die? NO, of course not. Was she stupid? Of course she was. Her stupidity caused her child to die before she even lived and she now leaves a son who for the rest of hias life will know what his mother and father did and allowed to happen. All I can say is God forgive her, cos I couldn't if it was me.
Margaret
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Comment by: robo (san francisco, california) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 2:59 am EST
It's Darwinian:
The great thing about the lives of AIDS denialists is that they are short. Most of Act-up/SF is dead after years of abusing Poz people at public meetings The bad thing is that they use their influence to convince others to shun medications. Here was a woman who had such a strong commitment to her own hare-brained agenda that she killed her own child. Tragic.
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Comment by: Deimos (Buenos Aires, Argentina) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 12:30 am EST
She probably deserved to die because she had chosen to die. She probably deserved to be convicted because she had decided her daughters death and possibly some of her (idiotic) followers death. This woman was to society as dangerous as a serial killer.
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Comment by: Will (New Jersey) Thu., Jan. 8, 2009 at 12:03 am EST
It is very tragic and I too am sorry for her loss. It is really sad that she spent so much time in denial rather than taking care of herself and her child. There is so much evidence out there that HIV causes AIDS. I care for a large number of HIV infected patients and the one's who are dying are the ones who are undiagnosed or not taking their medication.
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Comment by: Jimmy Holliman-Perry (Granbury, TX) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 11:53 pm EST
She was wrong, she died. What more can you say about the woman?
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Comment by: Mike Sangster (Halifax, N.S., Canada) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 11:31 pm EST
I guess first of all I have to state that it was her decision to make to NOT take any drugs to treat HIV/AIDS. That she then became an outspoken AIDS denialist sadly was misguided at the least and possibly quite dangerously reckless. The consequences were not only the death of her daughter, herself and possibly others who believed her in what she advocated. Our actions do have consequences! So each of us must realize when make a stance of any kind especially on HIV/AIDS there are always those who will believe what we say without questioning.As an AIDS activist I take on the responsibility to not only keep myself informed about HIV/AIDS but to make sure I do not misinform the people I who seek out my advise or support. I guess there must be a lesson here for all of us to heed.
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Comment by: Robert (West Virginia) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 11:24 pm EST
For my comment, let me quote from the summary on the HIV News & Views: "Maggiore joins the many HIV-positive AIDS denialists who have refused HIV medications and ultimately died." Hmmm. She ultimately died. I thought we all did that whether we took our medicine or not. I observe that this innocent quote is symptomatic of our culture's hidden assumptions and discomfort with death. And I am reminded of my conversation years ago with a bank teller, when I explained to her that I need a safe deposit box for my will for when I die. She suddenly looked nervous, laughed lightly, and said "don't you mean if you die." "No," I said, "not if but when." The word IF struck me as funny and still does. I didn't think dying was optional.
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Comment by: Scott (Seattle) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 11:19 pm EST
Christine Maggiore was right HIV does not cause AIDS.All you drug addicts just keep taking your"Meds" and die of diseases unrelated to HIV.I've watched people die of AZT poisoning.Quality of life is as important as quantity.Why do you all assume her death was AIDS related??Even if it was, you have no"solid science" that taking toxic drugs would have kept her alive any longer than her 52 years.I use my brain to know when to accept and when to deny treatments and I'm still here at 48.If I had just taken meds without questioning HIV=AIDS I'd be dead now!!
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Replies to this comment:
Comment by: we (kk, ca) Tue., Aug. 14, 2012 at 3:54 pm EDT
u r right; the truth killed her !


Comment by: Kate (Los Angeles) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 10:31 pm EST
Christine wrote a silly book:
"What if Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?"
I think it should be retitled
"What if Everything You Believed About Christine Maggoire Was True?" (I.e. she's a criminally insane suicidal idiot).
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Comment by: Don (Salem, Oregon) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 10:08 pm EST
The passing of anyone from HIV/AIDS is not acceptable... no matter what the reason. Sadly she leaves a husband and son behind. Christine had the right to refuse medication for herself, but preventing treatment of her daughter is more than I can agree with. I'm not sure how to deal with folks who listen to her and other HIV/AIDS denialists, and not their healthcare providers who are in the know on HIV/AIDS. Imagine the good Christine could have done had she started treatment and used her voice in support of HIV/AIDS treatment and adequate medical care for all. Personally, I've been on meds since 1996, and my most recent CD4 count at 1473 shows me, at least, that the meds work... I've living proof of it. Peace out and Happy New Year!
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Comment by: Tom (Tampa, FL) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 10:08 pm EST
For me, I have concern for two friends that think that holistic and natural lifestyle behavior will fight HIV. I'm not sure of the answer and don't want to judge their personal decisions, but I do foresee their time coming sooner than necessary. Then again, for some people, the cost of health insurance and the stigma of having the disease amongst their loved ones might shape such opinions. To me it's a hard question, but one that no one needs to scream they are correct or incorrect to decide. My decision is meds. Thank god I still have the insurance to afford them.
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Comment by: Paul (Chicago) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 9:32 pm EST
Nurra, people who refuse medical care to their children have committed criminal neglect. They are criminals. Pure and simple. Good riddance to this horrible woman.
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Comment by: Nurra (New York) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 9:09 pm EST
Christine Magiorre was a very intelligent woman who figured out that she could make decisions regarding her life and the life of her family without the pharmeceutical companies. She went up against this phoney profit making medical system almost single handedly and deserves alot of praise for enlightnening the HIV Community. Her stance was not right or wrong it was what she wanted and she had every right to make that decision for her and her daughter. May God bless her forever and give us the strength to make our own medical decisions.
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Comment by: Bobby (Chicago) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 9:04 pm EST
I agree with many of the comments. Someone should have indicted Christine for irresponsible behavior. Not only was she scientifically illiterate. She had the amazing gall to try to convince others to follow her doomed path. But I guess those who take medical advice from people who have no medical training are taking their lives in their hands (Christine had been in the clothing business!). I personally know people who died believing people like her and other denialists like gary null. These people felt lost and were not educated enough to do their own research. They hopefully believed she must be right if she was so confident. They were fearful of committing to medications and worried about side effects. Christine was lucky to survive 16 years, yet she refused to acknowledge her good fortune. Instead she mistakenly believed she was excluded from HIV progression. HIV is a dangerous virus and all these deaths of denialists are proof of it. They say it takes 10 years for someone to have a symptom of HIV...that means there are lots of people who get sick earlier and lots who take longer... I knew people who died within 8 years of their infection. You'd think her poor husband would figure out at this point -- having lost his daughter and wife -- that they both had HIV and died because they didn't get treatment. But perhaps he'll remain deluded. The absolute stupidity of some people continues to astonish me.
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Comment by: M (Maui, HI) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 8:48 pm EST
Hard to comprehend....after over 14 positive years, all of them with a variety of HIV medications, I can't imagine living my life without meds. I'm sure they've kept me alive and 'healthy'.
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Comment by: Jim (Los Angeles CA) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 8:40 pm EST
Plain and simple - she murdered her daughter and should have gone to jail.
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Comment by: William White (Salt Lake City) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 8:32 pm EST
Too bad she's dead. She should of been tried for the murder of her daughter.
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Comment by: John Barrow (Fort Lauderdale) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 8:28 pm EST
The loss of any human life is tragic, and I am sorry for Ms Maggiore's passing.

It does make one think about what it takes to reason with a fellow human when they are so convinced of their correctness that they will not only allow themselves to die, but even allow a mother to let her own child die needlessly.

I am sure that many, many others have died, convinced beyond reason of these fallacies, charitably called, "denialism."

We live in a world where many challenge solid science, about vaccines, AIDs, teen pregnancy, and more. At some point, you have to be open to evidence, or else, truth will make itself known in less pleasant ways than being obliged to recant a dearly held idea.


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Comment by: JUNIOR (BRAZIL) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 8:06 pm EST
WELL I THINK THAT SHE WAS VERY LUCKY...SHE COULD STILL LIVE 16 YEARS AFTER DIAGNOSED WITHOUT MEDS...COULD HAVE LIVED LESS...I HAVE HEARD THAT THEY STILL DO NOT KNOW FOR SURE HOW LONG SOMEONE MAY LIVE ON MEDS SINCE THEY HAVE APPEARED JUST IN 1996 WHICH IS TOO EARLY TO SAY SOMETHING ABOUT THEIR EFFECTS ON THE BODY..ALTHOUGH I AM ON MEDS AND I AM NOT A DENIALIST..
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Comment by: David (San Francisco, CA) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 8:05 pm EST
Honestly, when I read of her death, I thought "good riddance." AIDS denialists like her are responsible for untold numbers of deaths and ruined lives. It should be criminal to try to convince others that HIV doesn't cause AIDS and that antiretrovirals don't work (or are the problem.) Hope it's hot where you are, Christine.
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Comment by: Mark Satterthwaite (Honolulu, HI) Wed., Jan. 7, 2009 at 8:03 pm EST
Just another name to add to the list of ignorance.
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