Respectful Insolence

HIV/AIDS denialist Christine Maggiore is dead

Longtime readers of this blog may remember the case of Eliza Jane Scovill. For newbies and those who might not remember, I’ve copiously linked to posts written by me and others.

To boil it all down, three years ago a child named Eliza Jane Scovill (often called EJ) died tragically three years ago of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and HIV-associated encephalopathy. The reason is that her mother, Christine Maggiore, was a prominent HIV/AIDS denialist, who, after having been found to be HIV positive back in the early 1990s fell under the sway of Peter Duesberg and came to believe that HIV does not cause AIDS and that therefore she did not need to take antiretroviral drugs. She even went so far as to form an HIV/AIDS denialist/activist group known as Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives. Even worse, she imposed her pseudoscience on her child EJ. Not only did she refuse to take antiretrovirals during her pregnancy to lower the risk of maternal-fetal transmission of the virus, but she refused to have EJ tested for HIV and insisted on breastfeeding her, even though breastfeeding can transmit the virus from mother to child.

After EJ’s death, the HIV/AIDS denialist cranks, aided and abetted by their allies in the blogosphere, tried very, very hard to claim that her death was not due to HIV. One in particular, a toxicologist named Dr. Mohammed Al-Bayati, read the autopsy report and tried to blame EJ’s death on a reaction to antibiotics and a childhood viral illness, a claim that had no reasonable basis in science or medicine. As a result of my efforts to rebut Dr. Al-Bayati, a representative of Christine Maggiore even tried to suck me into a pseudodebate. It was one of the most bizarre incidents in the history of this blog. Even now I scratch my head when I think about it, wondering just what the heck the HIV/AIDS denialists were thinking when they tried to play me.

Unfortunately, now it appears that Maggiore’s belief that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS might have caught up with her. I say “might have” because we do not know. The one thing we do know is that she has died of pneumonia at the age of 52:

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.

You can bet that there probably won’t be an autopsy.

It is possible that Christine Maggiore, in fact, died of a community-acquired pneumonia or some other sudden cause. It happens sometimes. (Remember Joe Strummer of one of my favorite rock bands ever, The Clash? He died suddenly of a massive MI at age 50.) However, if Maggiore’s cause of death had been something other than a mystery illness, seemingly a pneumonia that sounds as though it might be HIV-related, chances are that Maggiore’s family would have stated plainly the cause of her death. Even though we’re unlikely ever to know for sure unless Maggiore’s family requests an autopsy, it’s still pretty unlikely that a 52 year old died of a simple community-acquired pneumonia or dropped dead of another illness, and if it wasn’t HIV-related why be so coy about it? Moreover, the fact that Maggiore had been treated for this “pneumonia” in the last six months sure sounds suspiciously as though she had developed a more chronic infection, consistent with Pneumocystis pneumonia. Assuming that’s the case, which is a pretty reasonable assumption, Maggiore has now joined the list of other HIV/AIDS denialists infected with HIV who have gone to their grave claiming that their HIV does not cause AIDS, that antiretrovirals do not improve survival of HIV-positive patients even though the evidence is overwhelming that they do, and that the illness that claimed them was not due to HIV, activists such as Michael Bellefountaine and David Pasquarelli.

Of course, the HIV/AIDS denialists are out in force trying to deny that Maggiore died of HIV-related causes:

Her supporters expressed shock Monday over her death but were highly skeptical that it was caused by AIDS. And they said it would not stop them from questioning mainstream thinking.

“Why did she remain basically healthy from 1992 until just before her death?” asked David Crowe, who served with Maggiore for a number of years on the board of the nonprofit Rethinking AIDS. “I think it’s certain that people who promote the establishment view of AIDS will declare that she died of AIDS and will attempt to use this to bring people back in line. But you can only learn so much from an unfortunate death.”

Brian Carter, who facilitated local peer groups with Maggiore, said the movement would remain strong.

“Christine was only part of this. There is an outstanding number of prominent rethinkers, independent thinkers, doctors, scientists, lawyers who question AIDS causation.”

Why did she remain “basically healthy” from 1992 until just before her death? Because, if her death was indeed due to HIV, she was clearly an outlier, and she was fortunate enough that her HIV was slow-progressing. Unfortunately for EJ and her, reality has a way of imposing itself upon you whether you believe in it or not. As for the “outstanding number of ‘rethinkers,’” well, suffice it to say that that list is less than stellar. Indeed, it appears that HIV/AIDS denialists are taking a play out of the playbook of creationists by constructing lists of “experts” who “doubt” that HIV causes AIDS.

There are at least three tragedies here. First was the death of EJ at such a young age. She was sacrificed on the altar of her mother’s cultish refusal to accept the overwhelming scientific consensus that HIV causes AIDS and that antiretroviral therapy can not only prolong life but decrease the risk of maternal-fetal transmission of the virus. The second is that since the mid-1990s Maggiore has done a lot to spread the pseudoscience and misinformation that claims that HIV does not cause AIDS. Such misinformation has has devastating consequences in Africa, as this article points out:

Though they run counter to the scientific consensus about AIDS, such beliefs can have a major effect. In South Africa, where about 5.7 million people live with HIV, the government refused until 2005 to fund antiretroviral treatment, citing questions about the effectiveness of the drugs that inhibit the replication of HIV. . . Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health calculated earlier this year that the South African government’s delay in introducing treatment between 2000 and 2005 cost more than 330,000 lives in that country.

That is the largest tragedy in terms of the global effect to which Maggiore’s promotion of HIV/AIDS denialism has contributed.

On a more personal level, the third tragedy is that Maggiore had another child, a son. He, fortunately, appears to have escaped having HIV transmitted to him by his mother. On the other hand, unfortunately for him, not only did his mother’s delusion claim the life of his older sister three years ago, but, if indeed Maggiore did die of HIV-related complications, her premature death was potentially preventable, and her delusion also has cost him a loving mother. As Peter Staley put it:

What should we call it? A suicide? What should we call it when a woman dies because she refuses to believe she has a treatable illness?

And what should we call it when a woman lets her baby daughter die because she refuses to believe the baby has a treatable illness? A murder?

Maggiore’s son joins the uncounted others who mourn HIV victims whose lives might have been saved or prolonged if not for the refusal to accept the science that has produced one of the greatest achievements of scientific medicine ever, the characterization of the cause of AIDS and the development of treatments that reduced HIV infection from a death sentence to a chronic disease that can be managed with medication–all within less than 20 years.

ADDENDUM: Here’s my followup post on this. Hopefully, there will need to be no more.

Comments

  1. #1 Frasque
    December 30, 2008

    I’d call what she did to that little girl abuse and murder, yes. Did anyone ever look in to taking the child away from her?

  2. #2 Muse142
    December 30, 2008

    This kind of thing makes me wonder about the future of humanity.

    =/

  3. #3 dt
    December 30, 2008

    LA County officials did look into the case, but only after EJ had died. They were concerned about her first child, Charlie, and whether he might have HIV and if there was a case for parental neglect. Turns out he didn’t have HIV, and the case was eventually dropped.

  4. #4 dt
    December 30, 2008

    I see that the “Alive and Well” organization has already issued a short “disclaimer” saying that there is no proof Maggiore had HIV and that her status had nothing to do with her death.

    Orac, I see your old friend Jay Gordon gets a mention in the LA Times:

    Jay Gordon, a pediatrician whom the family consulted when Eliza Jane was sick, said Monday that Maggiore’s death was an “unmitigated tragedy”. “In the event that she died of AIDS-related complications, there are medications to prevent this,” said Gordon, who disagrees with Maggiore’s views and believes HIV causes AIDS. “There are medications that enable people who are HIV-positive to lead healthy, normal, long lives.”

    He may be totally whacko regarding vaccines, but at least the chastening experience of EJ’s unnecessary death seems to have made him wake up and smell the HIV coffee.

  5. #5 Orac
    December 30, 2008

    That’s why I gave him a pass here and didn’t chastise him.

    As for whether there is “no proof” that Maggiore died of AIDS complications, that’s true. However, the HIV/AIDS denialists could prove that Maggiore didn’t die of AIDS very easily. They could persuade her family to allow an autopsy, which would answer the question definitively.

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen, though. In the meantime, just playing the odds suggests that it is pretty darned likely that she did die of AIDS-related complications.

  6. #6 BSE
    December 30, 2008

    “Friends said that Maggiore never fully recovered after the death of her daughter and that she had trouble even sleeping and eating.”

    That will be the denialists excuse for her sad and avoidable death sorted then…

  7. #7 Dr Benway
    December 30, 2008

    When people refuse independent corroboration of their claims for vague reasons, it’s reasonable to assume that the facts are not on their side.

    Imagine two communities: one with and one without the above rule of thumb. Where will the cons set up shop?

    Gullibility kills. Everyone must do his or her part to fight gullibility.

  8. #8 Joseph C.
    December 30, 2008

    This is sad, sad, sad.

    Here is another brilliant nonsense concerto from that Mozart of woo to brighten everyone’s day:

    http://www.naturalnews.com/025203.html

    As the vaccine-pushing cult becomes more radicalized and even militarized (due to gunpoint enforcement, attack dogs at the Maryland courthouse vaccine enforcement event, etc.) it runs the risk of looking more and more like a home-grown terrorist group. It already shares many similarities with terrorist groups: The use of fear to promote its agenda, the use of chemical weapons that harm and kill civilians, the use of firearms and violent weapons to enforce its agenda, and the adoption of an intellectually-extremist position that declares all opponents to be criminals.

    It’s true that medical violence against children is routinely tolerated in America today. There is no crime modern medicine can commit against children that’s outrageous enough to warrant an arrest of the medical authorities, apparently: They can poison children with chemicals, maim them with medically unnecessary surgery, destroy their brains with psychiatric drugs, burn their flesh with radiation treatments and obliterate their immune systems with chemotherapy, but as long as it’s approved by a doctor, nobody seems to question this violent medical abuse of a child.

  9. #9 Martin Barnes
    December 30, 2008

    Hundreds of people are writing in to change.org for the idea I posted: #47 ‘Let’s take a new look at the cause of AIDS.’ They are saying that they feel abused by doctors who prescribed medicines with strong side effects when they were found to be HIV positive by tests that are inexact. They are reporting that the process of AIDS treatment, which tests for viral load and CD4 counts, makes no scientific sense. They have stopped taking the medicines and feel great for years afterward. Please note that there have never been any controlled studies of what happens when HIV positive individuals take no medicines versus those who do. Please remember that the predicted epidemic never came to pass, and the vaccines have all been failures, and there is no accepted understanding of how HIV destroys the immune system. Christine Maggorie was a heroine who had the courage to ask questions and demand answers from a dogmatic medical system.

  10. #10 Robster, FCD
    December 30, 2008

    Sad, but no surprise.

  11. #11 Robster, FCD
    December 30, 2008

    Martin, google pubmed.

    That some individuals don’t understand or accept the evidence available does not invalidate the evidence. Thats called argument from ignorance.

  12. #12 GaryB
    December 30, 2008

    This is indeed a tragic story, but each of us makes our own bed and has no choice but to sleep in it. What makes it worse is the power we have to take our children with us.

    Martin: What is the correlation coefficient between HIV and early death from an AIDs related disease?

  13. #13 Robert C
    December 30, 2008

    I head this news last night, and I was shocked and upset. I suppose it’s not really shocking given the circumstances, but it’s still upsetting.

    Christine left me a very warm message on my answering machine about 12 years ago when I tested positive and began to question — foolishly — whether HIV caused immune suppression. I had written her a letter thanking her for her work.

    Unfortunately for me, seven years later I almost died because I had refused antivirals. I was an old school case in 2004: KS, PCP, disseminated MAC, thrush, wasting. Fortunately for me, I spent a month in the hospital with very good care, and I’m now alive to tell the tale. I’ve also been on antivirals ever since; back to work for four and half years; and doing very well (knock on wood, of course!).

    I believe we all have the right to make *educated* medical decisions for ourselves, but the blinders that are worn by denialists — and I was one of them, so I know — can be deadly. I just hope Christine’s death isn’t in vain — I hope her death, along with her daughter’s, will wake up some more people along the way. I’m lucky to be alive, and I don’t take that for granted any longer.

  14. #14 Prometheus
    December 30, 2008


    “…there is no accepted understanding of how HIV destroys the immune system…”

    That’s strange – I thought that there was a generally accepted understanding of how HIV destroys the immune system. I’d suggest that Martin try to learn more about the topic before pontificating.

    Of course, Martin will no doubt bring up that there is a great deal that we don’t know about HIV’s effects on the immune system. That doesn’t change the fact that the bits we do know are enough to show that HIV can – and does – cause AIDS.

    Although Orac may be inclined to give Dr. Jay Gordon a “bye” for having changed his “beliefs” about HIV and AIDS, I cannot. I find it supremely ironic that Dr. Gordon feels Ms. Maggiore’s death is an “unmitigated tragedy”, especially since he did nothing to mitigate it when he had the chance.

    Ms. Maggiore’s death was perhaps inevitable, given what we know about HIV/AIDS. Her daughter’s death was not inevitable, however. I can’t help but wonder how many other people have met early deaths due to the “activism” of Ms. Maggiore.

    Prometheus

  15. #15 Joseph C.
    December 30, 2008

    They have stopped taking the medicines and feel great for years afterward.

    This is, of course, a no-lose situation for you since the ones that die from AIDS aren’t around to post their negative experience on the Interweb.

  16. #16 Robster, FCD
    December 30, 2008

    Joseph C, And those who do are attacked and are attacked as druggies.

  17. #17 Robster, FCD
    December 30, 2008

    must learn to preview comments…

  18. #18 Azkyroth
    December 30, 2008

    On a more personal level, the third tragedy is that Maggiore had another child, a son. He, fortunately, appears to have escaped having HIV transmitted to him by his mother. On the other hand, unfortunately for him, not only did his mother’s delusion claim the life of his older sister three years ago, but, if indeed Maggiore did die of HIV-related complications, her premature death was potentially preventable, and her delusion also has cost him a loving mother.

    No, it cost him a mother who passively murdered her child rather than face up to reality. Speaking as a parent myself, there’s a difference.

  19. #19 Rogue Epidemiologist
    December 30, 2008

    What really bothers me is that Maggiore was not investigated for neglect because she sought “medical” treatment. By that, she went to Jay Gordon, who “respected” Maggiore’s wishes by refraining from testing the kid for HIV (unless someone points me to statements clearly saying otherwise, I’ll give Dr. Gordon the benefit of the doubt by presuming he does believe in HIV as the etiology of AIDS) despite the child’s presentation of symptoms that would suggest AIDS.

    Anyway, Dr. Gordon aside, this sets up a hideous precedent! Because LAC-DCFS opted not to pursue the matter, now other parents who abuse their children with woo can avoid being charged with crimes against their children. This could include chelators and anti-vaxers!

    And another thing, can we finally get the Foo Fighters to STFU about Alive & Well? I’d really like to go back to liking them without conditions.

  20. #20 Ender
    December 30, 2008

    It seems clear to me that you are definitely are definitely a druggie Robster, FCD.

    And if I can ask, Robert C, has your experience on the other side of this issue, given you any special insight to the blinders, and how to communicate to people wearing them?

  21. #21 Robster, FCD
    December 30, 2008

    Ender, was that supposed to be a joke? I hope you aren’t trying to start off with ad homs?

  22. #22 Robert C
    December 30, 2008

    Unfortunately, I seriously doubt there is any way to get to people in such extreme denial. At least for me, while I was in it, there was nothing anyone could say. In fact, I became very selective with the information I accessed and was very careful not to read anything I thought was in the least bit “orthodox”. That’s the only way I could maintain my denial — it was a full-time job, believe me. Especially as a gay man living in NYC — there was a lot of eye averting for many years to avoid the subway/bus/magazine ads, etc. That’s why I think the term blinders works.

    To make it worse, I was an HIV case manager/counselor at the time I tested positive. In order to avoid the orthodox views, I had to quit my job.

    The only reason I realized the error of my thinking is because I got sick — duh, right? But, I wasn’t a drug user and didn’t fit any of the Duesbergian reasons for immune suppression, so in the end, I was left with HIV as the reason. I could no longer justify my denial at that point — it was either take the drugs or die. I chose to live, and I’m lucky I had that choice to make (and I probably made it just in the nick of time).

    My hope is that at least some people who are on the fence will be convinced to take care of themselves now that both Christine and her daughter have died, but I know her death will be spun in a way to suit the denialist arguments.

    Even if all else fails, they have Michael Ellner’s “AIDS zone”/hex argument — being told one is HIV+ is enough to cause AIDS by itself (I guess the immune system is supposed to turn against itself because the person *believes* they’re going to die). I even had someone tell me my immune system collapsed because I was depressed (if depression could cause PCP, KS, MAC,most of NYC would be dead).

    So, it’ll be interesting to see how this gets spun, but I do hope at least one or two people wake up as a result of Christine’s death.

  23. #23 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    This is the circular logic of AIDS, if you die of Pneumonia with HIV antibody its AIDS, w/o its pneumonia. Since the cause and effect are seperated by almost 2 decades in this case, one is just buying time for things that would happen anyways.

    And the hypothesis is solely based on correlation which is even sadder, even a 100% correlation doesn’t prove causality (all people that die of old age have wrinkles, so wrinkles cause death in old people) Chimpanzees inoculted don’t die, and neither do SIV infected wild animals.

    All your left with is a partial correlation, that really not much to be proud of since most everyone with HIV is totally healthy, but the CDC can get around that by extending the window period from 10 months to 10 years.

    Anyways, it remains ambigious what this wonderful women died of. I would not discount the intense terror and public abuse she’s recieved from AIDS apologists, which over time could have slowly wore down her body.

    Anyways, get with it, its the Day Lily mycoplasma thats the real bug to worry about, don’t be duped by the new world order.

  24. #24 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    “Pneumonia is a lung disease that can be caused by a variety of viruses, bacteria, and sometimes fungi. The U.S. Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate nearly 90,000 people in the United States died from one of several kinds of pneumonia in 1999.”

    Doesn’t seem to rare for HIV negative people to die of this.

  25. #25 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    “She had apparently been on a radical cleansing and detox regimen that had sickened her and left her very weak, dehydrated, and unable to breathe. She was shortly thereafter diagnosed with pneumonia and placed on IV antibiotics and rehydration. But she didn’t make it.”

    Celia Farber, our scientific mother, has written some stunning revelations on the true causes of her death.

    http://www.deanesmay.com/2008/12/30/what-killed-christine-maggiore/

  26. #26 Danio
    December 31, 2008

    RobertC: I’m extremely encouraged to hear of a case where reason can still prevail over extreme denialism, and I’m glad you’re still here to tell the tale.

    And cooler, thanks for stopping by to further illustrate the arrogance of ignorance for us all. You nailed it, dude.

  27. #27 Robster, FCD
    December 31, 2008

    Is anybody really interested in pointing out what is wrong with cooler’s lies anymore? By his beliefs, asbestos doesn’t cause lung cancer, nor does T. bacillus cause tuberculosis, and there are no zoonotic diseases less dangerous to its natural host species than other species.

    It is telling that he chooses an ethically bankrupt journalist who has bought into crank science as his scientific mother, to match his fiction novel father where he gets his “day lily” paranoia.

    —–

    I took a look at Celia Farber’s piece, repeated on the execrable antiscience site of deansworld, and had these thoughts. Doubtless, Orac will have something to say about it, too.

    Yes. People were hard on her, but she made it her life’s mission to spread a conspiracy theory that has a horrific toll, at any cost, including her life and the life of her child through intentional medical neglect. In this very thread is a person who survived in spite of Maggiore’s attempts. Robert C, I’m glad you found an effective treatment in time. Its too bad that Christine didn’t.

    Did stress shorten her life? Celia thinks so, and it is certainly possible, but going to a quack who had her fast and “clease” to the point of dehydration and the start of pneumonia (assuming Celia is being honest, which is a very large assumption) certainly weighs in heavily. Again, assuming Christine’s honesty (since Christine Maggiore has never been upfront and honest with her medical history, we again have only her tenuous word to rely on) that she then developed pneumonia, quackery again led to her death. That she lived and breathed quackery for 14 years, it should not be a shock or surprise to anybody that it caught up to her.

    If we do not take Celia at her word, and instead rely on the coroner’s statement that she had been fighting pneumonia for six months, two occurrences of pneumonia in the span of a year is counted among the list of AIDS defining illnesses. This fits the story best, as we know that Maggiore was HIV+ (discounting the false negative result), so skeptically, we have to accept that HIV/AIDS was the predominant factor leading to her death, with what sounds like malpractice making it all the more likely.

  28. #28 Neuroskeptic
    December 31, 2008

    cooler : “Anyways, it remains ambigious what this wonderful women died of. I would not discount the intense terror and public abuse she’s recieved from AIDS apologists, which over time could have slowly wore down her body.”

    Funny, I thought AIDS was caused by poverty, drug abuse and the “gay lifestyle”! Now it can be caused by terror! So that explains why AIDS rates are so high in Palestine and Israel then and why rates surged after 9/11 and…oh…wait…

  29. #29 NP
    December 31, 2008

    Cooler – there are variety of different causes of pneumonia including viral, bacterial and fungal. Pneumocystis pneumonia (PCP) is rare in people who do not have AIDS, therefore if Christine Maggiore was infected with Pneumocystis, it would be a pretty good indicator that she died of an AIDS-related illness.

  30. #30 Chris
    December 31, 2008

    Excuse me, but how many of these “HIV activists” have died in the past ten or twenty years? Is it really worth fighting a battle against science? Or just anti-virals?

    Why do folks like Celia Farber keep writing articles that seem to go against the tide of reality? Does she have stock in funeral parlors?

    Cooler, do you run a funeral parlor? Is this why you keep harping against the science that hopes to keep people alive longer? If so, please tell us what mortuary you are a part of so we can avoid it for our loved ones.

    Remember, death is also a business, and we should be wary of those who promote practices that encourage the death of our loved ones.

  31. #31 Azkyroth
    December 31, 2008

    This is the circular logic of AIDS, if you die of Pneumonia with HIV antibody its AIDS, w/o its pneumonia.

    This is the circular logic of DUI legislation. If you get in a car crash with alcohol in your bloodstream it’s a “drunk driving incident,” without [I can't bring myself to type the original], it’s just a crash.

    (Please tell me you’re not so frickin’ stupid as to deny that alcohol causes impairment, too).

  32. #32 Ender
    December 31, 2008

    Yes, that was supposed to be was supposed to be a joke.

    “I’m sorry, Mrs Robert FCD, your son’s addiction has progressed beyond our reach. He’s lost his sense of humour”

    I don’t believe in smilies, people either get the joke or they don’t. No reason to make it heavy handed for those who do.

    Thanks, Robert C. I’m glad to hear you got out. Sad to hear how unreachable people can be.

    Cooler: “you’re a nut you’re crazy in the coconut”

  33. #33 Dianne
    December 31, 2008

    Chimpanzees inoculted [with HIV] don’t die, and neither do SIV infected wild animals.

    Retroviruses are finicky things. Chimpanzees aren’t human and that 1-2% difference is enough to make HIV–human immunodeficiency virus–nontoxic or at least less toxic for them. As far as SIV goes, some primates survive being infected just fine, others die of an AIDS like illness soon after being infected. The difference is strongly correlated with how long the species has been exposed to SIV: coevoluation in action.

  34. #34 Jon
    December 31, 2008

    Cooler your ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    Srsly this guy needs to be on some meds now. Day Lily and the new world order. This is either a Poe type and you’re all being trolled or someone with mental illness.

  35. #35 David Marjanović
    December 31, 2008

    Martin Barnes, you should get out less and read more.

    cooler, we have the mechanism. We have observed how it works. That you talk about a “partial correlation” marks you as deeply ignorant. Illnesses are not black boxes.

    I don’t believe in smilies, people either get the joke or they don’t.

    Incredible.

  36. #36 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    Yes, all of this makes so much sense. John Doe had a high sed rate 17 years ago, he died of pneumonia 17 years later. His high sed rate caused his death 17 years later. This is the only evidence you have in favor of HIV, some weak correlation where the cause and effect are seperated by several years.

    Since so many people think I’m a nut, just please help me answer a couple questions.

    In the mid eighties every prestigious medical school taught as fact that HIV killed nearly everyone infected, a chemotheraputic drug AZT that induced blood transfusions was approved in 1987 by the FDA, the IOM reccomended billions in funding in 1985. Please provide the overwhelming evidence from this time period that proves HIV kills nearly every person infected. Waiting. It must exist, for why else would a dangerous drug like AZT be approved?

    Also, what are the scientific papers you people read that convinced you that HIV killed nearly every person infected, and can you cite and breifly summarize them to make sure you even read them. Waiting. Spamming a website isn’t evidence. Waiting.

  37. #37 Melinda Lozano
    December 31, 2008

    All of you can’t wait to go out and destroy her…but you know what, she is destroyed, she died. What about the privacy her family needs at this time, what about the respect for them…do any of you even have respect for yourself…I have known Christine for 30 years…way before she was diagnosed or not…way before her Aids work…I know her family…all good, loving, compassionate people. Christine cared deeply about her children, her family, and her friends….she was one of the most sincere people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing…she believed what she believed, and no mater how much she was crucified for her beliefs, she was entitled to have them….please give it a rest, let her family mourn…her husband has lost his wife and his daughter, her son has lost his mother and sister…can’t you pick on someone else? How small minded can you be? I am disgusted by all of you. You can’t wait to say…I told you so….try to take the higher road…you might find it a nicer view.

  38. #38 Ender
    December 31, 2008

    Now I’m completely in the dark. Well done my friend, I seem hoisted by my own petard, since it looks like you’re being funny, but for the life of my I can’t see it.

  39. #39 Robert C
    December 31, 2008

    Just to chime in — and I’m not a scientist, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

    But, when I tested positive in 1996, at that time, my doctor told me, “Robert, you’re not going to die of this. Things are different now.” This was in 1996. The funny thing is I still became a denialist in spite of NOT receiving a death sentence.

    So, I really don’t think people have been told that HIV is totally, 100% fatal for a VERY long time — maybe throughout the 1980s and early 90s — but it’s long been considered a manageable illness. There’s no reason to assume that everyone infected is going to die as a result of the effects of immune suppression — even without medication. Some will, some won’t.

    The point is — or at least my point is — that IF one does start to become ill at some point after testing HIV+ — and there are no other plausible causes — then it should be pretty reasonable to assume that maybe — just maybe — HIV plays a role. Why is that so impossible to think about for some people?! Okay, I know the answer to that, but I’m being rhetorical. The denialists are constantly accusing the mainstream medical-scientific world of being dogmatic, close-minded, etc. But, why the zealotry when it comes to not even allowing the possibility that HIV plays a role — at least in some cases? If one is being open-minded, shouldn’t one allow for other possibilities — particularly in light of changing events (i.e. the unusually premature deaths of people who have also tested positive for HIV)?

    Isn’t it possible that the truth lies somewhere in the middle? Doesn’t it usually? Maybe HIV plays an essential role — but maybe there are co-factors to consider also. Why can’t it be both? Why does it have to be one or the other?

    The bottom line is if you get sick, you need to take care of yourself — and at least for me, when I was deep in denial, even acknowledging that something was wrong with me was tantamount to accepting the orthodox view. And I had brainwashed myself so thoroughly that I had lost the ability to reason — and I’m a very reasonable, analytical person (most of the time!). It’s chilling to think about now, and I’m just glad I’m not walking around with all that fear any longer.

  40. #40 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    “There’s no reason to assume that everyone infected is going to die as a result of the effects of immune suppression — even without medication. Some will, some won’t.”

    Robert, even this statement is far too much for the HIV orthodoxy to handle. Patients are told if they don’t take their meds there is pretty much a 95-99% chance they will die, in all essence its a 100% death sentence, no hope is given, unless its through drugs. Infact this statement would qualify you being called a denialist!

  41. #41 Hanna
    December 31, 2008

    Ding Dong! The wicked witch is dead!

    Yeah, yeah, she died of stress and not eating properly – right, right, right.

    Get over it! The list of prominent denialists six feet under is staggering, never mind the hundreds of thousands of desperate and gullible HIV positives who were brainwashed by her shameless rhethoric and paid with their lives.

    But her daughter, Eliza Jane, was one of the most tragic victims – born to an HIV positive denialist who would actively infect her child with HIV, refuse to have her tested and then refuse to hospitalize her sick child until she was on death’s door.

    And none of what’s happened caused her one moment to begin an honest dialogue. She was wickedly manipulative with her words until the end.

    Burn in hell Christine!

  42. #42 Jane
    December 31, 2008

    Hey Melinda:

    Your “friend” Christine murdered her daughter and has indirectly caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands.

    So eff-off and accept that your buddy was DEAD wrong and her idiot husband Robin deserves whatever agony he currently feels for allowing his daughter to die at his wacko wife’s hands!

  43. #43 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    December 31, 2008

    Christine Maggorie was a heroine who had the courage to ask questions and demand answers from a dogmatic medical system.

    If she really was a heroine then her family should help prove that by having an autopsy done and publishing the results.

    Surely if she’s right and died of some other reason they would want that known.

    Alternately if she was wrong, wouldn’t her family want to make sure that the real truth gets out and saves lives?

    Or are they monsters?

    Continue her crusade, have an autopsy done and prove her right.

  44. #44 Rogue Epidemiologist
    December 31, 2008

    Robert C, your doctor *didn’t* hand you the “death sentence” because you became Poz in 1996. Mind you, HAART became the standard in 1993 or 1994, and immediately thereafter, we saw rates of AIDS deaths start to plummet. In short: We saw the drugs WORK!

    Even now, when you see the numbers, AIDS prevalence in the US goes up because people are living longer with HIV and AIDS, but AIDS deaths are on a real decline thanks to the meds.

    If the denialists don’t wanna take the meds, fine, then don’t take the meds. But I think it homicidal and malicious of them to discourage other people from taking HAART.

    As for Hanna and Jane, you’re either the ugliest trolls I’ve ever read on these boards, or you’re both just really fucking stupid. And mean.

    I, for one, never wished Christine dead. I pitied her for being so misguided. And I hated that she would cling to her delusions so desperately that she would allow her child to die, and that she would meet the same end.

    Melinda Lozano, you don’t get a free ride either. Your friend was ignorant. She may not have been malicious, but her child’s death was her fault. And she may also be at fault in any number of deaths that could have been the result of her preaching. That is tragic.

  45. #45 Orac
    December 31, 2008

    Burn in hell Christine!

    Burn in hell yourself.

    As misguided as Maggiore was, as responsible for the death of her daughter as she was due to her belief in pseudoscience, like Rogue Epidemiologist I did not want to see her dead. I wanted to see her come back to the side of science and stop peddling pernicious myths that endanger the health of HIV patients. Her death and that of her daughter show just how powerful pseudoscientific delusions can be. If you want to know more about my attitude towards Maggiore, read this:

    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/12/hivaids_denialist_celia_farber_weighs_on.php

  46. #46 Orac
    December 31, 2008

    hristine cared deeply about her children, her family, and her friends….she was one of the most sincere people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing…she believed what she believed, and no mater how much she was crucified for her beliefs, she was entitled to have them….please give it a rest, let her family mourn…her husband has lost his wife and his daughter, her son has lost his mother and sister…can’t you pick on someone else? How small minded can you be? I am disgusted by all of you. You can’t wait to say…I told you so….try to take the higher road…you might find it a nicer view.

    Sincerity. All I hear Maggiore’s defenders point out is her sincerity. So what if she was sincere? She was clearly wrong about HIV, wrong about AIDS, and wrong about antiretrovirals. She spearheaded an effort to persuade other HIV-positive patients not to take life-prolonging and life-saving medication as well. She did enormous damage.

    No, in her case sincerity is irrelevant. She sincerely believed in a pseudoscience that has caused thousands of preventable deaths. Worse, she sincerely preached that pseudoscience and sincerely gave advice that was deadly.

    No, hiding behind the “sincerity gambit” does not absolve her.

  47. #47 Prometheus
    December 31, 2008

    From Ms. Lozano:


    “What about the privacy her family needs at this time, what about the respect for them…”

    I’d agree that we should leave her family out of the discussion, but Ms. Maggiore put herself (and her dead daughter, Elizabeth Jane) in the public spotlight as an “example” of how HIV doesn’t cause AIDS, so it is entirely appropriate that her death – most probably of AIDS – be publicly discussed.


    “…she believed what she believed, and no mater how much she was crucified for her beliefs, she was entitled to have them….”

    Of course, she had the right to “believe what she believed” – nobody disputes that. She also had the right to tell people what she believed. Her right to believe what she believed and to disseminate her ideas doesn’t, however, change the fact that she was wrong and probably led a number of other people to their premature deaths. I think that point needs to be discussed and it is my right to talk about it.

    Freedom from criticism is not part of the right to free speech, nor does a person’s death put an end to discussion about the things they did during their life. The freedom of speech also does not protect a person – living or dead – from bearing at least partial responsibility for the actions (or inactions) other people took in response to what she said.

    Robert C comments:


    “Maybe HIV plays an essential role — but maybe there are co-factors to consider also.”

    There are a number of other factors that play a part in the progression of HIV infection to AIDS. Not the least is the use of appropriate medications to slow the replication of the virus.

    Other factors include genetic differences – people who have mutations of certain cell surface proteins that HIV uses have been shown to be resistant (and, on occasion, even “immune”) to common strains of HIV.

    The most well-studied of these is the CCR5 cell-surface protein, in which a small deletion (CCR5del32) has a gene frequency of about 10% in people of northern european descent and appears to give complete resistance (no antibody production) to HIV-1 if homozygous and appears to drastically slow the progression to AIDS if heterozygous.

    This works out to about 1% of “caucasians” of northern european descent being “immune” to HIV-1 and about 9% being “resistant”. This easily explains the differences in disease progression seen even in untreated HIV-positive individuals. Of note, the CCR5del32 mutant is not present in significant numbers in Africa, except among descendants of northern european immigrants.

    Even in people who don’t have mutations in the cell surface proteins used by HIV, there have been reports of resistance to infection by HIV. A 1998 study by Zagury et al of 128 hemophiliacs who had been repeatedly exposed to blood products contaminated with HIV showed that over-production of beta-chemokines was found in the 14 repeatedly-exposed hemophiliacs who did not show infection with HIV (and also did not have the CCR5del32 mutation).

    [http://www.pnas.org/content/95/7/3857.full.pdf+html]

    Finally, people who have other medical “issues” – malnutrition, other chronic infections, other immune disorders, etc. – will usually have a more rapid progression of the HIV infection to clinically obvious AIDS and death. However, they will not develop AIDS if they are not infected with HIV.

    Yes, it is not only possible but known that there are many factors that determine whether an HIV exposure turns into HIV infection and how fast an HIV infection progresses to AIDS. However, it has not been shown that AIDS can develop without HIV infection.

    In short, exposure to HIV does not invariably result in an HIV infection, any more than exposure to influenza virus will invariably result in influenza. Also, HIV infection may progress rapidly or slowly to AIDS – the progression may be so slow (especially with modern treatment) that an HIV-infected person may die of something unrelated to HIV.

    However, none of that changes the fact that HIV is the causative agent of AIDS. If you don’t get an HIV infection, you won’t get AIDS.

  48. #48 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    Great Prometheus, now you guys can please just cite and breifly summarize the scientific papers that you read that convinced you HIV causes death in nearly every one infected. Waiting.

    Spamming a website isn’t evidence, it just proves you don’t even understand what this “overwhelming evidence” means because you can’t put it in your own words.

  49. #49 Robster, FCD
    December 31, 2008

    It isn’t an urge to shout I told you so, Melinda, but a hope that some good may come of her passing. Her beliefs and actions led to her death, and if that were the end of it, it would be bad enough, but her medical neglect killed her child, and her quackery evangelism endangers the lives of all who believe her.

    It needs to be pointed out that her refusal to treat her disease led to her death, and I agree with good Rev. They should have an autopsy performed by an independent individual, not their handpicked fraud (who helps child abusers by saying that shaken baby syndrome is a vaccine injury) to determine the cause of death. Hell, I’d go a step further, and say that if possible, the family should be sued to force such an investigation.

    ———

    Ender, no harm, no foul. I didn’t get it.

    ———

    Cooler, Sheesh, do I have to repeat it again? pubmed. All the evidence is there.

    The evidence is even here, in this very thread. HIV+ individual switches from fraud belief to real therapy designed to specifically treat a particular retrovirus, is fine.

    But let’s apply your mangled version of logic to HIV, then to mycoplasm. First, the only requirement timeline-wise for a pathogen to be a possible cause of a disease is that the patient have been exposed to it before symptoms arise, not after. HIV meets this requirement. It is also present during exhibition of signs and symptoms. You suggest that this is a poor correlation, but are ignorant of so many similar timelines within pathology. Syphilis, for example, may take decades before it progresses to its third stage. It is far more of a challenge to find an HIV- individual with AIDS. In fact, go try. I’ll wait.

    As to mycoplasma, here is a simple test. Ask yourself why antiretroviral drugs halt and reverse the progression of AIDS if the cause is a mycoplasma. That should be an easy one, even for you.

    And then,

    “There’s no reason to assume that everyone infected is going to die as a result of the effects of immune suppression — even without medication. Some will, some won’t.”

    Robert, even this statement is far too much for the HIV orthodoxy to handle.

    No it isn’t. See resistant individuals, elite suppressors, etc. Thing is, we can’t predict who is who yet, so we can’t, in good faith, say that someone should risk no treatment to find out if they are the rare individual that doesn’t need the drugs.

  50. #50 Prometheus
    December 31, 2008

    Cooler seems be having a problem with reading comprehension.

    Let me put it into “bullet points”:

    [1] HIV exposure does not invariably result in HIV infection.

    [2] Certain people are genetically resistant to some, many or most strains of HIV. The virus either cannot infect them or (more commonly) the infection progresses more slowly to AIDS.

    [3] The study I cited (and summarized) showed that a portion of the people in a high-risk HIV/AIDS group (hemophiliacs who were exposed to contaminated blood products prior to a test for HIV) were found to be genetically resistant to HIV infection. This was further demonstrated by showing that their leukocytes were resistant to HIV infection in vitro, whereas control leukocytes were not.

    It is a sad commentary on “cooler’s” reasoning abilities that he/she/it continues to claim that the science is wrong even while admitting – openly – that he/she/it cannot even understand the science.

    I don’t expect that “cooler” will experience a sudden epiphany about his/her/its lack of comprehension. My reply is directed at the people who still have an open mind. “Cooler” is too impressed with his/her/its own brilliance to ever learn anything.

    Prometheus

  51. #51 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    Here is AIDS without hiv Robster asked for, if these people were HIV positive, they would be AIDS patients. Also, I never claimed that mycoplamsas were causing AIDS, rather that they are pathogenic in their own right.

    Kaposi’s sarcoma in HIV-negative men having sex with men.Lanternier F, Lebbé C, Schartz N, Farhi D, Marcelin AG, Kérob D, Agbalika F, Vérola O, Gorin I, Janier M, Avril MF, Dupin N.
    Department of Dermatology, Cochin Hospital, APHP, Faculté de Médecine René Descartes, Paris, France.

    BACKGROUND: Four epidemiologic forms of Kaposi’s sarcoma have been described, all of which are associated with the human herpesvirus-8. In western countries, human herpesvirus-8 is more prevalent in homosexual men than in the general population, and anecdotal cases of Kaposi’s sarcoma in HIV-negative homosexual men have been reported. PATIENTS AND METHODS: We included HIV-negative homosexual and bisexual male patients with histologically proven Kaposi’s sarcoma in a retrospective study. Clinical data were collected using a standardized form. Risk factors for human herpesvirus-8 infection and for the development of Kaposi’s sarcoma were systematically recorded. RESULTS: Between 1995 and 2007, 28 men met the defined inclusion criteria. Mean age at first symptoms of Kaposi’s sarcoma was 53 years. Clinical presentation resembled classical Kaposi’s sarcoma, with limited disease in most patients. No cellular or humoral immunodeficiency was observed. Serologic tests for human herpesvirus-8 (latent immunofluorescence assay) were positive in 88% of patients, and only two patients displayed human herpesvirus-8 viremia at the time of Kaposi’s sarcoma diagnosis. Three patients developed lymphoproliferative disorders (Castleman disease, follicular lymphoma and Burkitt lymphoma). In this population, alpha-interferon was well tolerated and gave a complete response, but most patients require only local treatment, if any. CONCLUSION: Kaposi’s sarcoma may develop in homosexual or bisexual men without HIV infection. This type of Kaposi’s sarcoma has clinical features in common with classical Kaposi’s sarcoma but occurs in younger patients. Its prognosis is good, as Kaposi’s sarcoma is generally limited, but clinicians should be aware of the association with lymphoproliferative diseases, which may affect prognosis.

    PMID: 18525262 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

  52. #52 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    Robster asked for AIDS without HIV. Here is a paper where HIV could only be isolated in a whopping 26/72 AIDS patients. Duesberg is right, there is barely any HIV in AIDS patients, just antibodies against it. Even Gallo admitted it only infects a tiny portion of T cells, 1 in 100 at most!

    Frequent detection and isolation of cytopathic retroviruses (HTLV-III) from patients with AIDS and at risk for AIDS.Gallo RC, Salahuddin SZ, Popovic M, Shearer GM, Kaplan M, Haynes BF, Palker TJ, Redfield R, Oleske J, Safai B, et al.
    Peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) or with signs or symptoms that frequently precede AIDS (pre-AIDS) were grown in vitro with added T-cell growth factor and assayed for the expression and release of human T-lymphotropic retroviruses (HTLV). Retroviruses belonging to the HTLV family and collectively designated HTLV-III were isolated from a total of 48 subjects including 18 of 21 patients wih pre-AIDS, three of four clinically normal mothers of juveniles with AIDS, 26 of 72 adult and juvenile patients with AIDS, and from one of 22 normal male homosexual subjects. No HTLV-III was detected in or isolated from 115 normal heterosexual subjects. The number of HTLV-III isolates reported here underestimates the true prevalence of the virus since many specimens were received in unsatisfactory condition. Other data show that serum samples from a high proportion of AIDS patients contain antibodies to HTLV-III. That these new isolates are members of the HTLV family but differ from the previous isolates known as HTLV-I and HTLV-II is indicated by their morphological, biological, and immunological characteristics. These results and those reported elsewhere in this issue suggest that HTLV-III may be the primary cause of AIDS.

    PMID: 6200936 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE

  53. #53 Mike Kelly
    December 31, 2008

    And what year was that published cooler? Seems to be missing from the citation…

    Oh wait a minute 19 frigging 84!!!

  54. #54 Robster, FCD
    December 31, 2008

    Cooler, you may not have specifically said “mycoplasmas cause AIDS,” but you have certainly suggested it repeatedly.

    Kaposi’s Sarcoma is caused by HHV8. It is no surprise to find it in HIV- individuals. It is just far more rare. Individuals in the first paper you point to did not display immunodeficiency, so not AIDS. Yet again, you are an abject failure. Your posts are bad and you should feel bad.

    The second paper is an attempt at playing gotcha. Using the first experimental HIV test, which was not as sensitive as modern tests, is a pitiful attempt at being clever. You are your typical dishonest self by not mentioning that the paper is from 1984.

    Keep trying.

    And in the meantime, seek psychiatric help.

  55. #55 Ian
    December 31, 2008

    I’m not a medical expert, but it would appear to me that cooler needs to read eir own posts better. From the first abstract: “No cellular or humoral immunodeficiency was observed.” This would appear to indicate that the subjects did not have AIDS.

    From the second abstract: “The number of HTLV-III isolates reported here underestimates the true prevalence of the virus since many specimens were received in unsatisfactory condition.”

    And: “Other data show that serum samples from a high proportion of AIDS patients contain antibodies to HTLV-III.” Why would somebody have HIV antibodies without exposure to HIV? If one assumes that they were only exposed but not infected, isn’t it a rather remarkable coincidence?

  56. #56 Dianne
    December 31, 2008

    Here is AIDS without hiv Robster asked for, if these people were HIV positive, they would be AIDS patients.

    Actually, they wouldn’t. First, as others have pointed out, the individuals in question have no signs of immunosuppression so could not really be diagnosed with acquired immunodeficiency could they? Second, they are displaying symptoms of classic KS, a disease initially described in middle aged men…and here described in middle aged gay men. In other words, endemic KS still exists even if it is overshadowed by HIV related KS. Yawn.

  57. #57 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    Robster, you’re the one that needs help, you’re such a bonehead you can’t even cite and summarize the papers that you read that convinced you that HIV kills nearly every person infected, nor the papers that proved HIV’s causal role from the mid eighties when AZT was approved etc.

    Gallo and Levy found hiv in less than half of HIV patients and these papers were used to kill thousannds with the chemotherapy AZT. Notice before causality was built into the defintion HIV was found in less than half of AIDS patients.

    Those Kaposis patients would have been been AIDS patients if they had an HIV positive test, regardless of their t cell count. And you bozos should realize that Most of the immune system is not even in the blood, and there is plenty of other parts of the immune system like B cells , macrophages, that protect us from illness.

    I’ve never seen an EM pic of HIV from a patients blood, gut, lymph nodes, what a joke. As far as Gallo’s paper, why did he come to such fundamental conclusions based on contaminated evidence, and tell the world at a press conference HIV was the “probable” cause?

    Who cares how often he found antibodies, antibodies are what protect us from viral diseases like the flu, mumps, measles etc. All those AIDS patients that died probaby had antibodies to the flu as well, so I guess that caused their deaths!

    Again the only evidence in support of the theory is correlation thats an artifact of the defintion. TB with HIV antibody is AIDS, w/o is TB.

    And there is no correlation, since most everyone with HIV is totally healthy, but you can get around that by extending the window period from 10 months to 10 years!

    No animal model, not one wild animal has ever died from SIV, a virus that only in about 1/1000 cells and never been photographed from a patient, a window period that was invented and extended to over a decade! What a pathetic hypothesis!

  58. #58 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    You guys are wrong again. If those KS patients were HIV positive they would be AIDS patients according to the CDC.

    “The 1993 AIDS Surveillance Case Definition of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention*

    A diagnosis of AIDS is made whenever a person is HIV-positive and:
    he or she has a CD4+ cell count below 200 cells per microliter OR
    his or her CD4+ cells account for fewer than 14 percent of all lymphocytes OR
    that person has been diagnosed with one or more of the AIDS-defining illnesses listed below.”

    Candidiasis of bronchi, trachea, or lungs (see Fungal Infections)
    Candidiasis, esophageal (see Fungal Infections)
    Cervical cancer, invasive‡
    Coccidioidomycosis, disseminated (see Fungal Infections)
    Cryptococcosis, extrapulmonary (see Fungal Infections)
    Cryptosporidiosis, chronic intestinal (>1 month duration) (see Enteric Diseases)
    Cytomegalovirus disease (other than liver, spleen, or lymph nodes)
    Cytomegalovirus retinitis (with loss of vision)
    Encephalopathy, HIV-related† (see Dementia)
    Herpes simplex: chronic ulcer(s) (>1 month duration) or bronchitis, pneumonitis, or esophagitis
    Histoplasmosis, disseminated (see Fungal Infections)
    Isosporiasis, chronic intestinal (>1 month duration) (see Enteric Diseases)
    Kaposi’s sarcoma
    Lymphoma, Burkitt’s
    Lymphoma, immunoblastic
    Lymphoma, primary, of brain (primary central nervous system lymphoma)
    Mycobacterium avium complex or disease caused by M. Kansasii, disseminated
    Disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, any site (pulmonary‡ or extrapulmonary†) (see Tuberculosis)
    Disease caused by Mycobacterium, other species or unidentified species, disseminated
    Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia
    Pneumonia, recurrent‡ (see Bacterial Infections)
    Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy
    Salmonella septicemia, recurrent (see Bacterial Infections)
    Toxoplasmosis of brain (encephalitis)
    Wasting syndrome caused by HIV infection

  59. #59 Dianne
    December 31, 2008

    No animal model, not one wild animal has ever died from SIV,

    As I pointed out earlier, this is simply not true. For example, rhesus monkeys develop CD4 depletion and AIDS defining illnesses when exposed to SIV. True, sooty mangabeys, the natural hosts of SIV, don’t develop immunodeficiency when exposed to SIV, suggesting that, if your types have their way and HIV is ignored, in a few thousand generations the surviving humans will no longer develop AIDS in response to HIV infection. But it’s sort of a destructive way of making your case.

  60. #60 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    For decades SIV has infected wild macaque monkeys. They are not using condoms or AZT. There hasn’t been a single epidemic of AIDS in wild monkeys, they only occur in the labratory with poorly designed studies with no control animals.

    Based on the data, or lack there of not one wild animal has ever died from Siv.

    I’m sure primate experts would have raised some concern about SIV infected Macaques in the wild if they were truly dying, but they are not. But I’m sure those wild animals would die if you gave them monster doses of AZT.

  61. #61 Mike Kelly
    December 31, 2008

    “A diagnosis of AIDS is made whenever a person is HIV-positive and:
    he or she has a CD4+ cell count below 200 cells per microliter OR
    his or her CD4+ cells account for fewer than 14 percent of all lymphocytes OR
    that person has been diagnosed with one or more of the AIDS-defining illnesses listed below.”"

    Which is another way of saying immunodeficient. If you’re a middle aged man with KS and no immunodeficiency you don’t have AIDS.

    I’m getting an overwhelming felling of deja vu here, probably from an Aetiology thread.

    Let’s cut to the chase.

    Cooler, you’re a dick

  62. #62 colder
    December 31, 2008

    OK, we’ve established that there are very rare maladies out there that can precipitate an AIDS diagnosis in an HIV+ individual. Isn’t it interesting how highly co-morbid these conditions are with HIV? …that is, what are the odds of getting KS, for example, without a prior HIV infection versus with a prior HIV infection? That this appears across many different disease types (varying etiologies and symptomology) with a high correlation to HIV infection is sure interesting.

    Then again, an early attempt at an HIV test in 1984 clearly demonstrates that HIV can’t be causing the immunosuppression leading to AIDS. I guess we’ll never know what does…

  63. #63 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    I’m no dick, I’m right. According to the CDC if you have a normal t cell count, an HIV positive test and an “AIDS” defining disease like KS you have AIDS.

  64. #64 Robster, FCD
    December 31, 2008

    Cooler, you have been given what you are asking for several times and ignored it, and had your mistakes pointed out several times since you took up residence beneath the scienceblog bridge.

    Your best claim to your belief is a paper from 1984 using 1984 technology and methods.

    You still don’t understand that a 10 year lag is not unique among pathogens. You still don’t understand that antibodies are not proof that a disease has been fought off, or that an antibody is not always protective. Its sad really. You don’t want truth, you only want to hear that your paranoid conspiracy beliefs are right. You don’t want reality, but reassurance.

    ——–

    So you haven’t found any AIDS cases without HIV? Lets make it easy. Persistent immunodeficiency, with opportunistic diseases, without a chemical or cancer based cause (ie, induced immunodeficiency).

    Tell you what, I’m going to hang out with some friends, then a nice new years eve dinner with my lovely wife, so you have a while to look. Unless you want to spend the night watching your Dragonball videos.

  65. #65 BD
    December 31, 2008

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15280498

    J Virol. 2004 Aug;78(16):8902-8.

    Classic AIDS in a sooty mangabey after an 18-year natural infection.

    Ling B, Apetrei C, Pandrea I, Veazey RS, Lackner AA, Gormus B, Marx PA.
    Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703 Three Rivers Rd., Covington, LA 70433, USA.

    Prevailing theory holds that simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infections are nonpathogenic in their natural simian hosts and that lifelong infections persist without disease. Numerous studies have reported that SIV-infected sooty mangabeys (SMs; Cercocebus atys) remain disease free for up to 24 years despite relatively high levels of viral replication. Here, we report that classic AIDS developed after an 18-year incubation in an SM (E041) with a natural SIVsm infection. Unlike that described in previous reports of SIV-related disease in SMs, the SIVsm infecting E041 was not first passaged through macaques; moreover, SM E041 was simian T-cell leukemia virus antibody negative. SM E041 was euthanized in 2002 after being diagnosed with severe disseminated B-cell lymphoma. The plasma virus load had been approximately the same for 16 years when a 100-fold increase in virus load occurred in years 17 and 18. Additional findings associated with AIDS were CD4(+)-cell decline, loss of p27 core antibody, and loss of control of SIVsm replication with disseminated giant cell disease. These findings suggest that the time to development of AIDS exceeds the average lifetime of SMs in the wild and that the principal adaptation of SIV to its natural African hosts does not include complete resistance to disease. Instead, AIDS may develop slowly, even in the presence of high virus loads. However, a long-term relatively high virus load, such as that in SM E041, is consistent with AIDS development in less than 18 years in humans and macaques. Therefore, the results also suggest that SMs have a special mechanism for resisting AIDS development.

  66. #66 Third man in waiting
    December 31, 2008

    “Sincerity”…all this talk of the sincerity of Christine Maggiore. Mengele was sincere. Jim Jones was sincere. Maggiore was sincere.
    I wish that all three of these, well, monsters had not been monsters. I wish our species didn’t have the tendency to commit crimes against itself and the rest of the world with such admirable “sincerity.” I wish the victims of self-deluded people like Mengele, Jones, and Maggiore were still alive. I don’t rejoice in death, but I also find it difficult to wish that Mengele, Jones, and Maggiore were still with us.

  67. #67 Chris Noble
    December 31, 2008

    What about the privacy her family needs at this time, what about the respect for them…do any of you even have respect for yourself..

    She founded an organisation called Alive and Well.
    She and her husband made a film called The Other Side of AIDS.

    Christine Maggiore has lived in health without the use of AIDS drugs since testing positive in 1992. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, filmmaker Robin Scovill, and their healthy children ages six and two. Both children were born without medical intervention and were breastfed.

    Her family deserves compassion and understanding but they are not entitled to their own alternate reality.

    Christine is not alive and well. You can’t present yourself as evidence that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS and then expect total privacy when you die from something that looks like AIDS related pneumonia.

    I wish Christine were alive and well today. Her death saddens me as did the death of her daughter. Listening to her describe how her daughter died brought me to tears. Christine obviously loved her daughter very much.

    I do feel anger towards the Denialist leaders like Peter Duesberg who are not infected with HIV. People like Christine might die but their will always be a new supply of people looking for a reason to deny that thye are infected with a pathogenic virus and ready to give Duesberg the adulation that he craves.

  68. #68 Chris Noble
    December 31, 2008

    What about the privacy her family needs at this time, what about the respect for them…do any of you even have respect for yourself..

    Did Christine have respect for Rex Poindexter’s family when she made up stories about him choosing to die by not taking antibiotics for pneumonia.

    I am the Domestic Partner of the late Rex Poindexter and also the Trustee of his estate. Christine’s comments regarding Rex’s illness and healthcare are false. John Boucher 10/27/2007

  69. #69 Neuroskeptic
    December 31, 2008

    cooler – why haven’t you published your amazing insights into the biology of the HIV virus?

    Don’t tell me no-one would publish it. If your arguments were strong, a good journal would (“scientific publishing suppresses dissent” – massive exaggeration) but failing anything else, there’s Medical Hypotheses, who publish pretty much anything.

    We await your paper with baited breath.

    Until then, you may not be a dick, but you sure are an ass.

  70. #70 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    http://www.duesberg.com/papers/ch2.html

    I don’t have to, Peter Duesberg has already published in Science Magazine. Everything he said back then in 1988 has come to be true. No heterosexual epidemic, the Padian study that came out that proved HIV to be the least contagious microbe ever, a special retirement home for those Chimpanzees infected, not one wild animal has been documented to die of SIV, an ever extending window period. No EM pictures of a single patients viral load.

    Duesberg was a prophet, and the real causes of death in “AIDS” patients and non aids patients will continue, severe drug abuse, poppers, mycoplasma incognitus, and of course the cell killing chemotherapy AZT. Future generations will read Duesberg’s paper and think of him as the next Galileo.

  71. #71 Galileo
    December 31, 2008

    I’d prefer not to be associated with Peter Duesberg, thank you very much…

  72. #72 Joseph C.
    December 31, 2008

    Cooler,

    Since you’re so convinced that fruitcake Duesberg is correct, I submit a simple experiment to you:

    You voluntarily subject yourself to HIV infection.

    Harmless retrovirus, right?

  73. #73 cooler
    December 31, 2008

    Oh jeezy weezy. Can’t you see it? Can’t you see whats going on? Can’t you people understand that the NEW WORLD ORDER has us by the BALLS?

    Look its like this, in the early 90′s a revolutionary hypothesis was proposed by Dr. Lo and the Armed forces Institute of Pathology. Mycoplasma incognitus was found with the EM damaging 80% of AIDS patients tissues, when the microbe was isolated and grown in culture and injected into monkeys they died, and it was also ruled to be the cause of death in 6 previously healthy adults that died in 1-7 weeks and had this microbe rotting every organ visible with the EM.

    They felt HIV was harmless and supported Duesberg, but they also stated that M. Incognitus was pathogenic in it’s own right.

    Cut to a few years later, Dr’s Garth and Nancy Nicolson, who won the outstanding investigator grant from the National cancer institute and was a fully endowed tenured professor at the Univeristy of Texas cancer center found it in the blood of sick gulf war vets.

    Armed agents from the Department of defense warned them to stop their research, their boss Dr. Fred Conrad was shot 6 times in his office 15 minutes after he told Garth it was part of the biological weapons program. Their phones were tapped and several attempts were made on their lives. Dr. Nicolson won the outstanding investigator award and many others, I see no reason for him to lie about this.

    Anyways, Project day Lily is a barely fictionilzed book they’ve written thats gotten good reviews from many people including a Nobel laurete in medicine.

    Now before you people call me a nut, isn’t it true your government killed 3 million in Vietnam for no reason, expiremented on Black people etc?

    Do you guys like being made buffoons of by the NWO? Sadly the day lily mycoplasma will slowly spread through the population, and the only germ theory deniers are you people.

  74. #74 New World Order
    December 31, 2008

    You know, now that you’ve spilled the beans on us, we’ll have to silence you…

    Right now there’s a Black Hawk circling over your current home address.

  75. #75 BGT
    December 31, 2008

    As a non-expert, but frequent lurker of Science B(l)o(r)g, I can honestly say to just ignore cooler. He is the equivalent of the YEC’s that vehemently deny evolution. Nothing you can say will actually be logically assessed, it will simply go into the ears plugged “lalalalala….” filter to be regurgitated in a sort of bizarro logic. I have watched it on Aetilogy before, and seen firsthand the exasperation it’s pigheaded ignorance brought out in the commenters. Chris Noble, you were one of the one who bravely tried to bring cooler into some reasonable state of knowledge, and seeing how his brain failed then, don’t expect it to be changed now.

    I can feel sorry for Christine and her childs death, but as a rational human I cannot condone her denialism, or anyone who states that her denialist activities should be cut some slack because of the loss of her child or her life.

  76. #76 Badger3k
    January 1, 2009

    BGT – if it wasn’t for anything else (such as his citation of Duesberg as credible), the New World Order bit gave that away. Do we get to see the Reptoids next?

  77. #77 Mal Adapted
    January 1, 2009

    This thread gives me another chance to plug the Denialism blog. See the about page for a concise description of the class of people that includes cooler.

    When members of the reality-based community try to counter the substance of denialist’s specious claims, we’re at a disadvantage, because we assume the denialist is arguing in good faith. But they’re not, as the Denialism bloggers make clear. We might make more headway by confronting the denialist’s dishonest rhetorical tactics directly.

  78. #78 cooler
    January 1, 2009

    Yes, I’m such a nut for beleiving in Project Day Lily. Guess what, the British Government tested Mustard gas on their own Indian soldiers, of course it was kept secret for over 60 years until some recently declassified documents came out as the Guardian reports. Yes governments could never do such a thing! Anyone that suggests such is a nut!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2007/sep/01/india.military

    On Christine’s death I stand corrected. It could have been caused by HIV. But I have an even more intriguing compelling hypothesis. Nearly everyone that dies of Pneumonia has stubbed their toe within the last 17 years. There is a near 100% correlation between these events, regardless if they are seperated by almost 2 decades. Medical experts are shocked by this undeniable correlation.

    What a barrell of laughs, the entire HIV hypotheis is based solely on this type of correlation where the cause and effect in this case was seperated by 17 years buying time for anything to happen when its there, and when it’s not there, the original cause of the disease was responsible!

  79. #79 Another denialist killer
    January 1, 2009

    God Bless Christine, and her family. After her daughter died of an obvious anaphilactic shock from her first time on antibiotics, Christine was attacked on the internet, on tv, and in the worldwide press as a denialist monster.

    She was scheduled to testify in court this week, only 3 days after she passed, and no doubt the enduring stress of coming through a Christmas without her daughter, and fearing that she would be the one put on trial instead of the coroner, and enduring nonstop attacks against her was taking its emotional and psychological toll.

    Just a few weeks prior, the tv show Law and Order SVU, had done an episode based on Christine, that portrayed a psychotic mother who was the cause of her childs death by not giving the child aids meds. At the end of the episode, the mother also died. Christine very much internalized this by saying “That is what they want me to be. They all want me to die”.

    The only thing that surprises those of us who knew her, was that she had come this far without a major emotional and physical breakdown.

    Rest in peace, Christine. My heart goes out to her husband and son.

    And for all of you who do not understand the impact of stress and health:

    Studies have shown that people with Type A behavior (unusually aggressive, competitive, work-oriented, and urgent behavior) have a much higher incidence of heart attacks than do Type B people, who exhibit fewer of these traits. In addition, Type A behavior is associated with high cholesterol, triglycerides, glucocorticoids; a greater insulin response to glucose; increased severity of coronary artery lesions; and greater range and magnitude of blood pressure and catecholamine responses to timed tests (Elliott & Eisdorfer, 1982). As stated earlier, stress increases catecholamines, and the increase of plasma catecholamines enhances platelet aggregation, lowers the threshold to cardiac arrythmias, induces narrowing of the blood vessels, and suppresses insulin secretion (McEwen & Stellar, 1993). All of these combined can lead to a very high risk of heart attack or angina.

    Psychological stress has also been shown to increase susceptibility to viral infection. Subjects exposed to stress showed increases in infection rates from 74% to 90%, and clinical colds rose from 27% to 47%. Earlier studies have shown that medical students have an increased risk of mononucleosis during examination periods (McEwen & Stellar, 1993). This is not surprising, as stress does suppress the immune system; latent viruses then have an easier time resurging, since the body cannot defend itself as well (Brosschot, et al, 1994). This is supported by studies showing that colds and other infections manifest themselves on weekends after busy and stressful work weeks. Additionally, studies on monkeys have shown that ulceration showed up most severely during the rest and recovery periods, rather than during the stress period itself (McEwen & Stellar, 1993).

    In conclusion, psychological stress does have a significant affect on the immune system. It raises catecholamine and CD8 levels, which suppresses the immune system. This suppression, in turn, raises the risk of viral infection. Stress also leads to the release of histamines, which can trigger severe broncoconstriction in asthmatics.

  80. #80 Cooler
    January 1, 2009

    http://www.healtoronto.com/irwincd4.html

    Robster wanted people with low t cell counts (AIDS) without HIV and here it is.

    http://www.reviewingaids.com/awiki/index.php/Document:Richards_Timeline

    Here is more evidence of AIDS without HIV, about 40% of people antibody positive have no virus detectable by culture. Dr. Rodney Richards. Our scientific father.

  81. #81 Robster, FCD
    January 1, 2009

    cooler, first link doesn’t say why the patients had low CD4 counts or if they had persistent immunosuppression (except in the mono section, where it is noted to be transient). Read what you link to before you post it, or the NWO bogeymen will get you. Persistent immunosuppression is what we are looking for, cooler.

    I don’t think it was ever published in a peer reviewed journal, which isn’t surprising, having read it.

    The second link is practically worthy of the Perth cult. This guy is an org chemist? I feel for all my org chem colleagues out there to have to count this guy in their number. Using 20 year old science to push a crank idea is pitiful. This guy seriously needs to take an epi class or two. I wonder what other antibody based tests this nut has doubt in…

    Your worship of quacks with pseudo-religious language is a new development. “Our scientific father”? Get help.

  82. #82 David Johnson
    January 1, 2009

    “And what should we call it when a woman lets her baby daughter die because she refuses to believe the baby has a treatable illness? A murder?”

    I’d call it evolution in action: Her genes aren’t being passed on…

  83. #83 Joseph C.
    January 1, 2009

    I’d call it evolution in action: Her genes aren’t being passed on…

    But HIV-AIDS “re-thinking” ain’t genetic. It’s just denial carried out to a pathological extreme. EJ was an individual, not an extension of her misguided mother, who could have grown up to be a perfectly fine woman. I know plenty of decent folks with crazy parents. My wife, for example.

  84. #84 John Dumas
    January 1, 2009

    I guess ignorance truly is bliss

    jess
    http://www.anonymity.at.tc

  85. #85 Hanna
    January 1, 2009

    Hey Orac, I said “burn in hell” and I stand by that.

    Despite your defending Maggiore, you forget that she was NOT SINCERE in her beliefs. Sincerity means one does not pay a hired gun to refute your daughter’s autopsy by creating an impossible cause of death. She KNEW Al-Bayati’s report was wrong but she didn’t care. She could have said, This is bad, obviously my daughter died of PCP and wondered to herself how her daughter could have become so immune suppressed that PCP would take hold. But she didn’t. She decided to ignore the outright LIES of Al-Bayati in his “report,” the lack of FAC’s, the fact that sensitization is needed for anaphylaxis, yet Maggiore offered that the child had never previously had an antibiotic.

    So you go ahead and feign sadness over her death. But I AM SINCERE. I will never be saddened over the death of ANYONE who has caused so much death, so much pain and so WITTINGLY!

  86. #86 Joseph C.
    January 1, 2009

    Hanna,

    In all likelihood her beliefs just took her to her grave. This would indicate a measure of sincerity on her behalf.

  87. #87 Leena
    January 2, 2009

    They just did a Law and Order exactly on this!!

  88. #88 Jens G.
    January 2, 2009

    cooler: the problem is, that you’re water-proofing yourself. If there’s an argument against the HIV/AIDS-theory (and with theory I DON’T mean hypothesis), you fire it away, although these doubts are 24 years old and have long since been disproven. If there’s an argument in favour of the HIV/AIDS-theory, it’s a ruse of the government / the phramaceutical mafia / the short-sighted medicinal profession.

    A very important question in science is: what would I need to show you to convince you, that you’re wrong? If you’re water-proofing yourself, you may either say that this isn’t possible (an approach very common in religions), you may name a method that is impossible or so far impossible (like: “Show me a video of how the T cells are infected by the virus and rendered dysfunctional”) or you may name a method but refuse every evidence that method brings forth.

    If I have a death rate A in people who are infected with a virus B and I have a deth rate C in people who are infected with the same virus but received antiviral treatment – and C is significantly higher than A, this is very strong evidence that the virus B shortens your life expectancy. Don’t you think?

  89. #89 Jens G.
    January 2, 2009

    Oops, sorry, I meant “and C is significantly lower than A” of course.

  90. #90 dt
    January 2, 2009

    I was interested in the reference cooler gave for low CD4 counts in people without HIV. It is a review by Matt Irwin, himself an HIV denialist. Strange then that he seems honest enough to summarise his data thus:

    “This review is extremely limited in scope, and many of the studies presented here use different measures of immune function, making it difficult to perform accurate comparisons.”

    Quite. I agree it is very “limited in scope”; limited only to cherrypicked papers he has found that might support his opinion.

    He goes on:

    “Nevertheless, it is remarkable that so many different conditions are associated with profoundly reduced CD4 counts”

    What he does not mention is that in only a tiny fraction of the studies he quotes are there examples of patients with “profoundly reduced CD4 counts” (below 200). The fact that severe concurrent illness can temporarily reduce CD4 counts seems to totally escape him. In HIV, counts drop to profoundly low levels, and in the absence of therapy, they remain there.

    It is also amusing to see how weak his evidence is for many of the conditions he claims cause “profoundly reduced CD4 counts”. Some of these even he admits did not actually reduce the CD4 counts, but did temporarily do something else, such as reduce the CD4/CD8 ratio (this will happen if anything stimulates cytotoxic T cell activity) or reduce “total lymphocyte counts” (which are not a reliable surrogate for reduced CD4 counts). For example, we read of studies showing exercise altered CD4/8 ratios (but after 30 minutes the changes had returned to baseline)

    Even when certain conditions appear to lower CD4 counts, the effects are modest/transient, and hardly “profound”. We are informed about studies where “stress” reduced counts by an average of 61 cells. With normal counts being between 500 and 1200, forgive me for being underwhelmed.

    I don’t deny some things can afect CD4 counts or ratios, but it is quite a jump to suggest that the profound and persistent CD4 lymphopenia seen in AIDS can be mimicked by other conditions. It can’t.

    From a medical viewpoint it is clear Irwin has approached his review from the perspective of determining “how can I make this study appear to support my view?” – a particularly abhorrent approach for anyone who believes in the scientific method. As a comprehensive treatise on the dramatic effect of illness causing severe immunodeficiency it is little more than a joke.

  91. #91 Noreen Martin
    January 2, 2009

    Chris Noble, how are people such as myself infected? It cannot be found in my blood and it has never been cultured from my body, yet I am to take it on faith that I am infected. This is ridiculous! HIV violates Koch’s Postualtes and Farr’s Law. It is not a raging sexual disease or epidemic in this country. We know what is killing AIDS patients, the side effects from the toxic drugs, not some illusive virus.

    We are awaking to the truth, that we can live normal lives without the antiretrovirals. My viral load is 2.8 million, I repeat, 2.8 million. That sounds bad but the truth is by the time a math formula is plugeed in, it is worse than it sounds. My CD4′s are 111. Both are bad yardsticks in measuring one’s health, as I have no AIDS defining diseases, nor do many others. You can’t stop the truth.

  92. #92 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    Noreen, I’m sure that Christine would have said very similar things.

    It isn’t epidemic anymore, but endemic, hence, Farr’s law no longer applies.

    And your understanding of Koch’s postulates is quite incorrect Furthermore, since Koch lived before we knew what viruses were, they aren’t applicable in this case, if you demand that they be taken literally. Duesberg made this claim something like 20 years ago, before all of the postulates could even be fulfilled for any virus.

    1 The microorganism must be found in all cases of the disease.

    Yes.

    2 It must be possible to isolate the microorganism from the host and grow it in pure culture (in the laboratory).

    Koch lived before we knew what viruses were, and many pathogens, including viruses cannot be grown in “pure” culture. However, HIV can be grown in cell culture from HIV+ individuals.

    3 The microorganism must reproduce the original disease when introduced into an experimental animal.

    We don’t have an experimental animal for HIV, but that isn’t anything special. Lots of pathogens are species specific, or don’t cause severe disease even in all species that can be infected. However, tainted blood and blood products, medical accidents, etc, fulfill this requirement, most unfortunately.

    4 The microorganism must be recoverable from that animal.

    Individuals infected from medical accident have had their HIV sequenced, and it matches that of the person that was the source of the infection.

    What, exactly, would it take for you to be convinced that HIV causes AIDS?

  93. #93 Noreen Martin
    January 2, 2009

    Numerous things. For one, we are told that HIV is a sexual disese, well this has not paned out in the U.S. There are only .004% cases in the states. For a sexual disease, why is it not in the age group (12 to 24) year old? Not in the race that is know to have the most diseases, not in the sex known to have the most sexual diseases and not in the section of the country that has the most? Explain all of these issues. Add the fact, that many of our HIV negative partners do not succumb to HIV postivie. Check the CDC top 4 or 5 STD’s in this country and the numbers are staggering.

    If HIV cause AIDS, then why couldn’t Gallo find it in 100% of cases? How do you explain HIV negativecases of AIDS and why have HIV negative persons had viral loads? Why does the Lancet state that mortality has not increased on the HAART? And some of you want to seeep the side effects under the rug, as if they don’t exist.

    Mainly, though, I am not convinced because there are so many of us who don’t take the HAART and we are living quite normal lives. We must chart our own course, whatever that may be. We can’t win. If we don’t take the meds, then you say we died of AIDS. If we do and die, then we died from AIDS diseases. What a racket.

    Many of us choose to not poison our bodies and to not listen to those who cannot answer our basic questions. I will ask you folks, this question. What was killing those in Africa in the 1960′s? Many of us are old enough to remember the TV commercials showing the sick and dying there. They were and are dying from what it has always been there, poverty, contaminated water, not enough food, etc. Now, we have a more glamous name for this AIDS, but does that really excuse our neglect and lack of concern for these people. What has really changed in the past 50 years?

  94. #94 Jens G.
    January 2, 2009

    Noreen: Imagine that by the wave of a magic wand I would eliminate all T cells in someone’s body. What would be the effect? At first, none at all! Over 80% (which is an opportunistic estimate) of all germs and virus which can harm us, are killed or disintegrated by the primary immune response before they can do any damage at all. The good thing about the primary immune response is: it doesn’t need T cells. The bad thing about it is: the microphagae and macrophagae that make up the “squad team” of the primary immune response are outnumbered once a virus managed to take this hurdle, infect a cell and bypass the inner repair mechanism of the cell.

    As long as you look after yourself, eat healthy, exercise, but lightly, and don’t do anything foolish, you can go a very long time without a disease breaking out. Remember: as long as your primary immune response is strong, you won’t feel any ill effects. Trouble starts with the first serious flu. Or some inflammation. Or some intestinal trouble. Your secondary immune response doesn’t work anymore. Because that’s the one that needs the T cells.

    I believe you when you say that you feel fine, despite a virus count of 2.8 million and a DTC of 111. I don’t believe you (and neither should you) when you say that this will stay indefinitely without proper medication. It’s a simple game of statistics. The chance of a virus getting past your primary immune response is 20% (the most). That’s not very high. But remember that this is happening again and again. Eventually a cold virus will make its way through.

    As to the numbers: sorry, I don’t have exact references. Could be higher, could be lower.

  95. #95 noreen martin
    January 2, 2009

    Oh, but you folks forget one important thing, I do take a wonderful immune enhancer called LOW DOSE NALTRESONE in
    4.5 mg. Anyone with over 50 immune deficiency diseases, should look into taking it, and I have had many in my lifetime.

    Studies are underway in Africa about using LDN and the results should be out this summer. There is nothing but good reports about this miracle drug. You can read some of the testimonies on Change.org under Incorporated Drugs such As LDN Into the FDA’s System, go to lowdosenaltrexone.org, and also You Tube. Listen to what physicians have to say about this drug, if you don’t believe the laypeople.

    Many of us are working to find a way to get this “off-label” and patent-expired drug into the system, so many more lives could be saved. Most of my family is on it for various problems. When terminal cancer patients are alive, MS persons are walking again, etc. this drug deserves some attention.

  96. #96 Noreen Martin
    January 2, 2009

    http://www.lowdosenaltrexone.org/

    For those who might be interested in learning about low dose naltrexone or LDN.

  97. #97 Chris Noble
    January 2, 2009

    Noreen,
    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.
    It’s great news that you are doing well. I sincerely hope that this continues.

    I also hope that if your health gets worse that you are able to rethink your position.

    As far as HIV cultured from your blood, have you ever had a phenotype test? If you have then you have had HIV cultured from your blood. These tests are done all the time.

  98. #98 Hanna
    January 2, 2009

    Joseph C: “In all likelihood her beliefs just took her to her grave. This would indicate a measure of sincerity on her behalf.”

    No, I don’t agree. Unmitigated hubris took her to her grave and probably quite a bit of guilt over killing Eliza Jane. Honestly, there is no way in the world she could have ever openly recanted after the child’s death. What was she going to do, take HAART when she became ill and accept that she denied that chance to Eliza Jane?

    Christine was no innocent in the Duesberg game folks. She was highly culpable herself. She minced words and played intellectually dishonest games on Podcasts all of the time. She lied and skirted questions, she knowingly distorted clinical studies.

    When her daughter became ill, she took her to see Jay Gordon and when Dr. Gordon’s office called back a week later, she lied and told them her daughter was well. She then took her daughter to see another doctor, Paul Fleiss. Dr. Gordon speculates the reason she did that was specifically because Dr. Gordon would see a child from an HIV positive mother who was still ill and get the ball rolling on testing and treatment. So Christine took her daughter to several doctors – so none of them would have collective information on Eliza Jane’s medical problems.

    It’s all right here in an interview (see what the writer quotes Dr. Gordon saying):
    http://justiceforej.com/RyanInterview.html

    All of the above proves Christine Maggiore had no sincerity in her beliefs – only a desire to F*** with government and science that backfired when it took her daughter’s life.

  99. #99 Noreen Martin
    January 2, 2009

    Well, it’s a funny thing that my doctors will not attempt a culture, they say they have to go through the NIH. If HIV were in my blood, what does that prove, nothing! Some of you can recommend antiretrovirals but I have chosen not to go that route. The old saying is if it works use it. My LDN works quite well, along with good health habits, to keep me healthy. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    To answer you, there isn’t any need to rethink my position. LDN doesn’t elevate my liver enzymes, nor screw up my blood, nor increase my changes of having heart, kidney, and liver failure, nor does it give one “buffalo humps, and it can reverse cancer, not give it to the patient.

    Why would those of you who believe in HIV not want the patient to take a much safer drug? Probably, the same reason that the pharmaceuticals don’t push it because it is a cheap drug running about 25.00/month and the antiretrovirals are thousands of dollars. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what is happening here.

  100. #100 Joseph C.
    January 2, 2009

    Why would those of you who believe in HIV not want the patient to take a much safer drug? Probably, the same reason that the pharmaceuticals don’t push it because it is a cheap drug running about 25.00/month and the antiretrovirals are thousands of dollars. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand what is happening here.

    Yeah, you’ve totally nailed it. Doctors don’t care about patient care at all. They just want their free pens and drug rep lunches.

  101. #101 Dianne
    January 2, 2009

    Yeah, you’ve totally nailed it. Doctors don’t care about patient care at all. They just want their free pens and drug rep lunches.

    Actually, direct gifts from drug companies, even down to pens, have substantially been banned in the last several years. Oddly, infectious disease specialists are still recommending HAART. They must have stock in the companies or something…

  102. #102 Mark OH
    January 2, 2009

    I am truly sorry for this woman and her family. She chose to ignore current scientific and medical advice and paid the price. I am, however, angry at her for possible leading others astray.

    As someone mentioned above, why exclude the possibility of HIV infection causing AIDs? It is a similar “debating” style I have seen with the creationists: they don’t prove their theory, they just try to disprove evolution (as if this disproving magically proves their point).

    And I find it curious that people such as Noreen will make statements such as “We know what is killing AIDS patients, the side effects from the toxic drugs, not some illusive virus” and yet put all their faith in ANOTHER medication (I assume she means Naltrexone, which is used to treat drug addiction) that has not been proven to be effective. Also, it is possible that this drug has adverse side effects as well. While a good, scientific study of this medication may show some effectiveness, it is not a “miracle” drug any more than any other medicine.

  103. #103 Noreen Martin
    January 2, 2009

    First of all, Naltrexone in the 50mg dosage is used for drug problems. On the other hand low dose naltrexone, 4.5mg is used to treat immune deficiencies. You should check out the work of Dr. Zagon at Penn State and learn about this drug. There is only one known side effect for LDN, when some people first take the drug, it can cause vivid dreams, but not in all persons. All in all, LDN is an extremely safe drug. I would beg to differ with you about it being a miracle drug. I went to last year’s conference and heard the stories from the patients and from the physicians. What do any of you know about it. Research it, listen to the videos on You Tube and then offer an opinion. Join the LDN Support Group on Yahoo and google in LDN and hear real stories from real people. I wouldn’t discard LDN, as it could save your life or the life of someone that you love.

  104. #104 Dianne
    January 2, 2009

    You should check out the work of Dr. Zagon at Penn State and learn about this drug.

    I took your advice and found the results quite interesting. Dr. Zagon has two clinical trials for the use of naltrexone open: one is for use in Crohn’s disease and the other in hepatocellular carcinoma. He has published numerous papers on the use of naltrexone in various setting, but not, as far as I can tell, in the setting of HIV infection. So while I agree that his work is exciting and naltrexone may have uses in settings other than opiate addiction, I would say that changing the standard of care for HIV from HAART to naltexone would be premature to say the least. Without foundation would be more accurate.

  105. #105 Mark OH
    January 2, 2009

    Noreen: I am sorry you feel so defensive. I do plan to read up on this treatment more thoroughly as I find the concept very interesting. However, from the little I have read (and I am still looking for scientific based sites), it can rev up the immune system and may offer benefits in certain disease states. As was mentioned above, unfortunately, if there is no active immune system, it probably offers little benefit other than a placebo effect. Would be like giving a Type 1 Diabetic insulin stimulating meds when they don’t produce insulin.

    Anecdotal stories from patients and professionals do not prove whether a treatment course if effective or not. Only a good controlled study will show that.

  106. #106 Noreen Martin
    January 2, 2009

    Did you not research Dr. Bihari’s work with AIDS patients? What am I and others, statistical flukes? You folks can believe what you like but those of us not on the antiretroviral drugs and are doing well, see no reason to rock the boat. In time, the truth will come out and those of us who stood our ground will be vindicated.

    Why do some of you only see it one way. I harbor no grievance against those who take the antiretrovirals, as that is their choice. Just as it is ours not to do so. I would gladly compare my health on LDN to anyone on the meds.

  107. #107 Mark OH
    January 2, 2009

    Noreen: I am afraid it is you who “… only see it one way”.

    The issue that this original posting was trying to address is that those who oppose anti-virals may be preventing others from starting them.

    I have gone to Dr. Bihari’s site and it appears in his CV that the study relating to low dose naltrexone therapy is over 20 years old and he does not list a paper any more recent that 15 years ago. I would be glad to see a reference (or two) to support these claims.

  108. #108 Dianne
    January 2, 2009

    What am I and others, statistical flukes?

    Quite possibly. Statistical flukes happen. I don’t know the details of your condition, nor is there any reason why I should know them unless you chose to tell me (and everyone else reading this), but it is not clear to me from what I know that 1. your condition is anything outside of the norm for case of untreated HIV 2. if it is outside the norm that that difference can be attributed to the naltrexone and not some other factor (low virulence virus, natural resistance to its effects, etc). I certainly wish you the best of luck and hope that your health continues to be good. However, I can’t see that the current evidence supports the use of naltrexone in HIV. Certainly not outside of a clinical trial.

  109. #109 Noreen Martin
    January 2, 2009

    Mark,
    People can think for themselves. They don’t antiretrovirals pushed down their throats or through feeding tubes as in the cases of babies. I can remember a time in this country when we would hardly give a pregnant woman any drug, let alone the most toxic drugs on the planet. Are you stating that these drugs are not harming people and children? I wonder how many of you who promote these drugs would take them yourselves? Truthfully, probably not many. At the very least, you would read all the info about AIDS that you could. You forget one important thing, many of us were on the mainstream’s side until we got better educated. It doesn’t say alot about the mainstream’s point of view, when many of us have defected.

  110. #110 Hanna
    January 2, 2009

    Noreen, it is YOU calling the list of prominent denialists who’ve died of opportunistic infections a “statistical fluke.” It’s inconvenient so you ignore it.

    LDN will do nothing to keep you from AIDS. Yet, exactly like Christine Maggiore, you’ll never have to answer to how wrong you really are. When you die of an OI, the group at AIDS Myth Exposed will imply you’d been boozing it up, you’d neglected a good diet, you were depressed about having to fight so hard to be taken seriously – YADDA, YADDA, YADDA. But you Noreen, you won’t be able to prove a single thing to the scientific community other than HIV=AIDS denialism kills.

  111. #111 Noreen Martin
    January 2, 2009

    Well Miss Hanna, all I can say is that for three years I have been extremely healthy! People die from many things, whether they are HIV+ or HIV-, it makes no difference!

    The stastictical flukes are the ones of us living normal healthy lives. It kills some of you that it can be done without toxic drugs. This bursts a hole in your theories!

  112. #112 Hanna
    January 2, 2009

    Remember the list of “Meet the People” in The Other Side of AIDS? I challenge Robin Scovill to update us on their conditions. I mean, his wife is off the table now, of course.

    As for the others, I have spoken with 2 whose health circumstances became dire enough that they began HAART.

    I think it would be extremely interesting to see the list of A) The HIV+ denialists, B) Those who have died from OI’s and for us to keep track of the rest.

    I know it won’t help you Noreen, you’re like Christine – destined to die before re-analysis – but it might actually help some folks on the edge, those who want to believe HIV is harmless but are still too swayed by the overwhelming evidence that HIV causes immune failure.

  113. #113 Mark OH
    January 2, 2009

    Noreen:
    You arguments do not make any rational sense. Noone is “pantiretrovirals pushed down (your) their throats”. But, as with so many people who want to believe that the established medical field is wrong, you construct these round about arguments that do not support a thing. Any medicine and treatment may be “toxic” – that is why they are studied. The risks and benefits of medicine are then weighed against the disease state and appropriate therapy can begin.

    I am glad that you are healthy. I know of several HIV positive people (and I don’t know what you diagnosis is at this time) who are still healthy after 15-20 years. However, I know of THOUSANDS of others who are dead of the disease. Some took drugs and some did not. As I mentioned above, anecdotal data is not a good basis for treatment regiments.

  114. #114 Hanna
    January 2, 2009

    Noreen: How does Christine Maggiore’s “healthy” lifestyle burst a hole in anyone’s theories?! She died at the age of 52 from pneumonia!!! That is UNHEARD OF in an otherwise healthy American.

    Your lives are NO EXAMPLE of health unless you’re able to live a normal lifespan WITHOUT A FATAL OI.

    Do you get that?! Do you get that most people live 75+ years and die without EVER HAVING HAD AN OPPORTUNISTIC INFECTION?

    Do you get that otherwise healthy adults NEVER develop PCP, PML, Toxo, PML, CMV Retinitis UNLESS they also have HIV? Not even drug addicted crack whores living in vacant buildings – even they DON’T GET THOSE OI’S. What the hell do you make of that?!

  115. #115 Hanna
    January 2, 2009

    Incidentally Noreen, since you’ve stated disbelief that you even have HIV – that it’s never been purified in you from pure culture – why exactly are you taking LDN in the first place?

  116. #116 Robert C
    January 2, 2009

    I’m not trying to gang up on Noreen here — Noreen, I do believe you when you say you feel great, etc.

    I am a living, breathing ex-denialist who almost died — I tested positive in 1996 and then immediately got hooked by Maggiore, Ellner, HEAL, etc. I never took the medication, was not a drug user, lived a very healthy lifestyle, very good eater, plenty of exercise, etc. But, then, in 2003, I got pneumonia (well, even before that, I got hairy oral leukoplakia and KS — though I didn’t realize it at the time). I went to a doctor who diagnosed the pneumonia as PCP based on the X-rays and my symptoms — no sputum, though. This was in spite of the fact that I lied and told him I had never tested positive.

    Though I took the drugs to cure the PCP (Mepron) — and, I might add, it worked — I STILL refused to get a T-cell count and refused to accept that what was happening to me might be related to testing positive for HIV. My denial was SO strong I kept my head deeply buried in the sand in spite of overwhelming evidence that something was very wrong with my immune system. Long story short, six months later I ended up in the hospital for a month practically on my death bed with disseminated MAC, severe anemia, t-cell count of 15, thrush, KS, and I had gone from 140 lbs to 115.

    This was all without taking one antiretroviral. As I said, I was not a regular drug user, heavy drinker or any of the other things that Duesberg blames on immune suppression. For me and my experience — and I can only speak for myself since I know what I did and what I didn’t do — at that point, I HAD to accept that HIV had played a role in my immune suppression. There was no other probable cause for that kind of destruction of my immune system.

    I should also add that during the seven year period between testing positive and getting sick, I also took all kinds of immune system and health precautions — IN SPITE of the fact that I no longer “believed” in HIV. I took vitamins, ate very well, went for hypnosis sessions, etc. If I had truly believed I was fine, why did I need to do all these things?

    Now, someone like Michael Ellner will say that since I truly believed in the power of HIV — even subconsciously — that that was enough to cause the utter destruction of my immune system. Well, I went to hypnosis sessions with Mr. Ellner (I’m almost ashamed to say — but I was desperate), and even he couldn’t save me. Listening to his advice almost killed me.

    I know nothing about LDN — and, hey, if it makes you feel better and it’s safe, then by all means go for it — but as your t-cells are getting lower, I just ask that you please have them checked more frequently. You may already be doing this, but that’s my one big regret. I don’t even necessarily regret that I didn’t take the medication for the first seven years — I believe we all have the right to medicate or not to medicate (assuming we are adults and capable of making informed decisions) — but at the very least, keep a close check on your immune system markers. If I had done that — if I had been willing to do that — and it sounds like you are since you know your numbers — then it’s possible I could’ve gotten out of my denialism before I got so deathly ill.

    My experience today is that I’ve been OI-free since mid-2004; back to work for 4 1/2 years; t-cells in the mid-300s; no discernible side effects of the antiretrovirals (though I do take plenty of vitamins and micro-nutrients to help counter any possible toxicity — so maybe that helps?). Am I always totally comfortable taking the meds? No. But, again, I can only go on my personal experience, and I’d rather take a couple pills a day than be dead.

    Instead of sitting around feeling helpless about the situation in the world and regretful about the people I lied to and hurt, I’m trying to reach out and share my story with people. My goal is not to get everyone on the antiretrovirals — maybe they’re not for everyone — maybe not everyone needs them — but I’m trying to get people who are deeply entrenched in the HIV denialist groupthink to at least reconsider some of the dogmatic tenets of that world — particularly in light of the continued dying of denialists.

  117. #117 Robert C
    January 2, 2009

    Let me add — for the record — that I HAVE done cocaine in very small amounts about seven times in my life (it was usually once a year on or around my birthday). There was also an 18-month period just before I tested positive in which I was doing poppers recreationally. I’ve also smoked marijuana about once a year pretty much my entire adult life.

    I want to be open about what drugs I’ve done and what I haven’t done. I’m preparing to write up a narrative of my experience for another website, and I don’t want to be accused of lying or whitewashing or inconsistency (though that will probably come anyway).

    Some will jump on the poppers usage and blame that for my testing positive — trust me, I’ve been there. In some of the “dissident” literature there’s something about poppers causing people to test positive on HIV antibody tests and/or about poppers causing AIDS. Actually, I clung to those theories for years — those were two of the many theories that helped fuel and justify my denial.

    What I believe, now, is that the poppers usage DID have something to do with testing positive — I believe by doing poppers during otherwise relatively safe oral sex, it was made easier for me to become infected. I may be wrong — and I have no idea if that’s scientifically sound! — but it makes sense to me.

    Also, for the record, I stopped doing poppers immediately upon testing positive. I got sick seven years later — so I find it difficult to believe that the poppers were the cause of my getting sick that many years later.

    Again, I know this information may simply provide fuel to the denialist claim that everyone who has gotten AIDS has done poppers and/or other drugs, but I don’t want to paint a picture of sterility only to be attacked later. Just by mentioning these experiences I know I will be categorically dismissed by many still in deep denial, but at least I’m telling my truth.

  118. #118 Hanna
    January 2, 2009

    Peter, poppers and cocaine use would only be relevant if all others who’ve used poppers and cocaine also test HIV postive – and they don’t. That’s just incidental, as you know.

    The reality is that Noreen cannot be helped but since she actually has been on HAART, I believe a crippling illness will take her back to HAART. But, yes, ultimately she’ll lose this chess match to Bobby Fischer.

    And, frankly, I’ll say this. I have far more respect for someone like Christine Maggiore for sticking to her guns about HAART and refusing meds to the death than I do for pseudo-denialists who bad mouth HIV/AIDS science and medicine until they have life-threatening OI’s, then take the drugs and still have the AUDACITY to claim HIV/AIDS doesn’t exist WHILE ON THE DRUGS! That is the worst!

    There is a woman on AIDS Myth Exposed that goes by the screen name Moonchild who claims to have been on HAART after getting PCP years ago, then went off the drugs for a couple of years and became extremely ill again, went back on HAART while continuing to claim HIV is harmless. And finally she’s “weaning” herself from HAART. Until she gets sick again, of course. It’s so disingenuous, really. I mean, have the balls NOT to take HAART if you really don’t believe in HIV.

  119. #119 Badger3k
    January 2, 2009

    “Noreen: How does Christine Maggiore’s “healthy” lifestyle burst a hole in anyone’s theories?! She died at the age of 52 from pneumonia!!! That is UNHEARD OF in an otherwise healthy American.”

    I call Shenanigans on this. First, the idea that a “healthy” person has pneumonia is an oxymoron – if you have pneumonia, you are not healthy (even though we get the idea – it should be otherwise healthy). Second, even given what we know about Maggiore and her health at the time, I had a friend 29, in damn good health, get pneumonia and she nearly died from it. She got treatment and was hospitalized, and she was lucky. She missed quite a bit of work. Now, I didn’t find out what kind of pneumonia, but it happens. Look up the statistics for pneumonia deaths – it happens to individuals of all ages. The idea that just because she was 52 doesn’t mean she couldn’t get pneumonia.

    Now, the type of pneumonia she had may have been more common in older people (going by memory, IIRC), but that does not mean that only older people can get it – it just indicates that they are more susceptible for whatever reason.

  120. #120 Hanna
    January 2, 2009

    That’s right Badger – I said “otherwise healthy” and that’s a distinction I need to make or the denialists will toss out as “evidence” a 35 year old woman who died of PCP six months after being on immune-suppressive anti-rejection medication after receiving a new liver.

    Of course, for all the grand standing and insistence of denialists that heavy drug use, alcoholism and stress can cause PCP, PML, Toxo or Cryptococcal Meningitis in HIV negative Americans, they have yet to produce someone who has!

  121. #121 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    Did some looking for LDN, and it looks like it treats everything better than anything. Add to that the kind of language that I have come to expect from quacks (immune boost, a meaningless and untouchable by the FDA phrase, thanks to DSHEA), and I would be very skeptical of any claims of LDN. There are some interesting results, but little in the way of independent verification, and lots of anecdotal statements. I’m not saying that it isn’t possible, but that I need to see more evidence before I accept it as a plausible treatment.

    There is supposed to be an LDN study in Africa, but the person performing it sounds somewhat underqualified, and has in the past claimed that LDN was a treatment for autism. I wouldn’t expect much from this study in the way of useful information.

  122. #122 Badger3k
    January 2, 2009

    Robster – even without looking, when she made the claim that it can cure (or stop, I forget) cancer, I recognized the stench of woo. All that’s needed now is that LDN can manipulate Orgone energy and we have a Woofecta.

  123. #123 HCN
    January 2, 2009

    Seriously, Robster, she claimed we needed to look at You Tube for proof on LDN.
    (http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/12/hivaids_denialist_christine_maggiore_die.php#comment-1291794 , “go to lowdosenaltrexone.org, and also You Tube. Listen to what physicians have to say about this drug, if you don’t believe the laypeople.”). That is not science, and as you say “lots of anecdotal statements”.

    Now repeat after me: The plural of anecdote is not data.

  124. #124 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    Yes, but I didn’t want to judge LDN based on Noreen’s statements alone. I wanted to see what those who were pushing the drug were saying.

  125. #125 Mark OH
    January 2, 2009

    HCN:
    “The plural of anecdote is not data”

    Wonderful. Perfect.

    Another point I like to make with the denialist: of what purpose is it for your doctor to put you on a “toxic” medication? Answer: absolutely none. Docs get no kick backs from meds. What benefit do some “natural cure/ miracle cure” people get by getting you to take their products? Answer: millions of dollars in revenue.

  126. #126 Badger3k
    January 2, 2009

    From what I hear, some of these “natural” medicines and vitamins are produced by the same drug companies that make the real medicine. They make money either way.

  127. #127 fred
    January 2, 2009

    “I think it would be extremely interesting to see the list of A) The HIV+ denialists, B) Those who have died from OI’s and for us to keep track of the rest.” A list can be found at http://www.aidstruth.org/new/denialism/dead_denialists.

  128. #128 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    Badger, I greatly recommend Natural Causes.

    Some of those altmed companies are absolutely part of big pharma, but vitamins and supplements aren’t little. Its a completely unregulated 20+ billion dollar a year industry.

    It took seven years to actually ban ephedra from the first concerns that it wasn’t safe. The alties are still trying to get it back on the market. The best the FDA can do is write a stern letter to a supplement producer, even if the supplement doesn’t have what it is supposed to have in it, or if it has actual drugs in it, or if highly toxic herbs have accidentally been used in place of the supposedly safe ones. I say supposedly because DSHEA (pushed by Utah’s Orrin Hatch, lots of US supplement companies operate out of Utah, and do brisk business there as well) exempts supplements from being treated as either food or drug by the Food and Drug Administration. They are able to occasionally force a company to stop making a misleading claim, but they carefully select a new claim that means nothing, but sure sounds good.

    I’d like to see them treated as drugs. They are being used and prescribed as drugs, so they need to be as safe, as pure, and as efficacious.

  129. #129 Mark OH
    January 2, 2009

    Robster, FCD:
    I agree. Why can’t people see the flim-flam, snake-oil salesman technique?

  130. #130 Dr Aust
    January 2, 2009

    If anyone wants to see another (and larger scale) example of the consequences of quackery and denialism, you could try this video from British newspaper the Guardian, made a few months back, about the activities of a well-known vitamin “entrepreneur” in South Africa.

  131. #131 Badger3k
    January 2, 2009

    Robster – hadn’t heard of that one, and added it to my Amazon wish list. For the record, I wasn’t suggesting that the industry is small change – I know SCAMs (as Mark Crislip calls them) brings in billions, all pretty much unregulated (surprise – that worked so well for everything else!). I’ve had to warn my students (and friends) about trying some of these products due to health concerns. Hopefully they took my advice to be careful. Since you did mention Utah, I wonder if the Mormons are raking in big bucks, or is Utah being used like an offshore base of operations? Not trying to sound conspiracy theorist, I just know that the Mormons have a lot of hands into pockets in Utah.

    I also recommend Snake Oil Science, although I haven’t read it yet, just heard much from and about the author.

  132. #132 Robster, FCD
    January 2, 2009

    Badger, NP.

    Mormons believe in treating their body like a temple, so they tend to use more vitamins and supplements than just about anybody else.

    I think I have seen Snake Oil Salesmen in my recommended list. I’ll double check.

    I have considered repeating The Amazing Randi’s demonstration of taking two boxes of homeopathic sleep remedies for my students, explaining as I do how homeopathic “drugs” are made, and how I am at no risk, despite a warning label. My reason for not doing it is that I can just link from my class page to the video, and that I don’t trust the homeopath not to slip in an actual drug or two. I’m just glad I don’t work the poison control hotlines.

    Instead, I bend spoons and give them random, nondescript horoscopes to teach them not to trust people who claim to have magic powers, even if they make full display of them.

    Think I’ll put up some copies of the Skeptoid podcast on fallacies and critical thinking, this year, instead of just having them read Sagan’s Baloney Detection Kit, which I have done for the last few semesters.

    Badger, or anybody else have any other resources or suggestions?

  133. #133 HCN
    January 2, 2009

    Robster, an old standby is Martin Gardner’s “Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science.” I love the part in the intro to the 2nd edition where the proponents of the Bates’ eye exercises wrote him letters that looked like they could have benefited from a pair of eye glasses.

  134. #134 Badger3k
    January 2, 2009

    Also, James Randi’s book “Flim Flam” is a good read. “Pseudoscience and the Paranormal” by Terrence Hines is another fun read about, well, the title says it all. I think both books give some material on homeopathy and the like, but I’d have to dig them up to find out for sure. Brian Dunning also has his video “Here be Dragons” or something like that, it was free to download or I think you can buy a dvd. He is also part of the Skepticblog posters. Mark Crislip and his Quackcast podcast is also fun to listen to, and he gets into the literature. The Point of Inquiry podcast has skeptics on all the time (that is where I first heard of Snake Oil, IIRC). Skeptics guide to the universe, skepticality, the now-defunct Logically Critical…all are good podcasts. You can tell I have a long drive to work, can’t you?

    Michael Shermer’s “Why People Believe Weird Things” and “Science Friction” are good books too. I also have “How We Believe” but I haven’t read it yet.

    Just some suggestions for skeptical/critical thinking. I have some other books on critical thinking in pdf formats I was gifted with, but I have yet to go through more than a couple to see if they were worth anything, so I won’t recommend them.

  135. #135 Seth Kalichman
    January 2, 2009

    Martin Barnes above wrote :

    “Please note that there have never been any controlled studies of what happens when HIV positive individuals take no medicines versus those who do.”

    -> martin, have you ever heard of a control group in a drug trial?

    Martin also wrote:

    MB: Please remember that the predicted epidemic never came to pass -> Not true for most places in the world

    MB: the vaccines have all been failures -> that is true

    MB: there is no accepted understanding of how HIV destroys the immune system -> not at all true.

    MB: Christine Maggorie was a heroine -> reallY? I have not heard that before? So she contracted HIV by sharing needles?

    Seth Kalichman
    http://denyingaids.blogspot.com

  136. #136 Fintan Dunne
    January 3, 2009

    Christine Maggiore did
    NOT have AIDS Pneumonia

    Fintan Dunne presents some compelling evidence that recently deceased Christine Maggiore was very unlikely to have had AIDS-related PCP Pneumonia, contrary to widspread speculation on the Internet.

    LISTEN : http://AidsIsOver.com/audio/aidsisover090102.mp3

    Christine’s healthy respiratory function in an audio recorded just weeks prior to her death belies implications drawn from the L.A. coroner’s office statement asserting she had been treated for pneumonia in the previous six months.

    Evidence indicates Magiore was pneumonia symptom-free as late as 10th December, making it extremely unlikely she suffered a fatal AIDS-related pneumonia in a mere 17 days up to the date of her death at home on the 27th December, 2008.

  137. #137 Chanda
    January 3, 2009

    It doesn’t pay to blame Christine for dying. Everyone – whether HIV positive or not – are scheduled to die at one point or another. No one is immortal, and Christine is no exception.
    She was just a courageous woman who dared where others didn’t. Let her rest in PEACE!!!!!
    Her soul and courage lives on!!!!

  138. #138 Hanna
    January 3, 2009

    Christine Maggiore was a heroine?

    Wow! We can’t be thinking of the same person. No, no, no. I know America’s sunken pretty low in the popularity polls but there isn’t any real way we could be talking about the same woman.

    The woman who claimed to be unconvinced that HIV exists or is the cause of immune deficiency, despite the emphatic claims of 99.9% of the scientific and clinical communities? A woman who decided to discount thousands of papers that support the HIV=AIDS evidence? This woman? The one who, instead of playing it safe, decided to breastfeed her newborn children, refused to have them tested and monitored for HIV, refused to even check their CD4 counts and when her daughter became increasingly ill from an intractable illness, she waited until the girl stopped breathing before having her hospitalized?

    Do you mean the woman with the ear of South African President Mbeki? The one who encouraged that government to block funding for HIV care and prevention. The woman with blood on her hands – responsible in great part for hundreds of thousands of graves and tens of thousands of infants who now carry a lethal virus.

    Are we talking about the woman without a college degree, never mind a PhD in Virology whose ideological arrogance was greater than any sense of reason, compassion or humility?

    Seriously, is THAT the woman with a bid at “heroine” status?!

    OMG! We are F***ED!

  139. #139 Hanna
    January 3, 2009

    Fintan: Could you lie any more than you do?

    Below is a snippet of an email from Christine to a friend, per Celia Farber on Esmay’s site:

    Maggiore sent email on December 19th:
    “I lost my appetite almost completely about 10 days ago and for some weird reason could only tolerate hot tea and hot chicken broth……Then I started to have trouble breathing, I was feeling winded after the most simple task like making the bed.”

    http://www.deanesmay.com/2009/01/02/in-her-own-words-a-dec-19-email-from-christine-maggiore/

    So Fintan, I don’t know. Seems odd she herself describes “feeling winded” on what would be 12/9 – the day before you describe her as “pneumonia-symptom free.” Develop a timeline around Christine’s email and you’ll see she not only has symptoms of pneumonia for weeks before her death but she was unable to eat, had weakness, difficulty sleeping and when she was diagnosed with “a very serious case of bi-lateral bronchial pneumonia,” she expressed no distrust in the diagnosis or apprehension to be treated for it.

    Fintan, why don’t you get your story synchronized with Celia before you go posting your “evidence” which is CONTRARY to the reports of Christine Maggiore herself!

  140. #140 Robster, FCD
    January 3, 2009

    Thanks Badger and HCN. I’ll look into those. I have a couple weeks before the new semester begins, and a copy of Shermer’s Why People Believe Strange Things in my to read stack.

  141. #141 Danio
    January 3, 2009

    Robster, your class sounds wonderful–what academic level is it geared to? I’ve been thinking of pitching a critical thinking/skepticism class for non-majors to the powers that be at my institution, and would love some tips on how your course evolved.

  142. #142 Joseph C.
    January 3, 2009

    It doesn’t pay to blame Christine for dying. Everyone – whether HIV positive or not – are scheduled to die at one point or another. No one is immortal, and Christine is no exception.

    This misses the point entirely and ignores the sad irony of dying young from a treatable disease that you went to extremes to deny.

    She was just a courageous woman who dared where others didn’t.

    Courage in the absence of reason is called “rashness”.

  143. #143 Robster, FCD
    January 3, 2009

    Thanks, Danio.

    I work skepticism and critical thinking into my college Intro to Bio classes. Its really great for the non-majors class, so when a student asks about some woo belief or another, we can dissect the claim.

  144. #144 cooler
    January 3, 2009

    Danio,
    You teach at the college level! How about teaching this, partial correlations with microbes that have never been photographed from a patient with The EM because they are barely present, done anything when injected into animals, and have latent periods extended into the decades when no one gets sick don’t prove causality.

    I can’t beleive you people teach at Universities and indoctrinate people that partial corrleations prove causality! Pathetic! And thats the only evidence in support of HIV Hepatitis C. Nearly everyone with these microbes are healthy but within the next couple of decades they’ll get sick. Some pathetic partial correlation where the cause and effect are seperated by decades.

  145. #145 Robster, FCD
    January 3, 2009

    Don’t worry, cooler, I talk about Duesberg and even Maggiore, when I talk about appeals to authority, appeals to special knowledge and appeals to emotion. Duesberg is an excellent example about how a weak correlation (gay sex, drug abuse, etc) that initially seems so have some validity is replaced when a better and more evidence based hypothesis comes along. Its a pity that Duesberg can’t get over his ego and admit that he was wrong.

    There is even a section in my class on HIV and how retroviruses replicate. I’m such an awful person for teaching science in a science class.

  146. #146 Dave
    January 3, 2009

    God, that one hit me.
    As an ex denialist who started believeing that HIV didn’t cause AIDS a year ad a half ago I’m now stuck with the fact that I’m HIV positive and that I can never again be the same. My life is fine right now but who knows what ten years will bring with it? I have a loving boyfriend who knows the score and he’s negative but there is always that risk.
    I admire Christine’s tenacity and passion but I’m sad because I feel like she was as deluded as I was. Except it’s too late for her to change her mind. I at least get that option.
    May she rest in peace. Things in the world of HIV need questioning but not the basic facts. No one should die of ignorance anymore. It’s a shame her passion couldn’t be used in a more productive way.
    But I hope that some good will come of all this. And that is that people wake up to reality.

  147. #147 Prometheus
    January 3, 2009

    “Cooler” wrote (in reference to HIV):


    “…microbes that have never been photographed from a patient with The [sic] EM…”

    Wrong again. Here’s a picture – one of thousands I can find on the ‘net with a simple search. If you don’t look, you won’t find….

    http://www.aids-info.ch/bilder/schule_aids/jpg_bilder/koch6_2.jpg

    He also wrote:


    “Nearly everyone with these microbes are healthy but within the next couple of decades they’ll get sick.”

    Funny, the same thing can be said about untreated syphilis. So, by “cooler’s” rules, tertiary syphilis cannot be attributed to syphilis because it happens decades after the primary infection?

    Prometheus

  148. #148 Robster, FCD
    January 3, 2009

    Pro, thats an illustration.

    Here’s a good page with lots of photos. Cooler is parroting other denialists who complain that they want HIV from an infected patient’s blood.

    http://www.virology.net/Big_Virology/BVretro.html

    They want to go back in time for detection methods to the 70s. In some cases, 1870s.

  149. #149 Chr. Monsune
    January 3, 2009

    “As an ex denialist who started believeing that HIV didn’t cause AIDS a year ad a half ago I’m now stuck with the fact that I’m HIV positive and that I can never again be the same”

    No, earlier you were a man-without-HIV. But what other difference are you talking about? Check your numbers, listen to your doctor and then make your own informed decision.

    Hop, run, learn, create, love, laugh and cry. Same indeed.

    Best wishes!

  150. #150 Prometheus
    January 4, 2009

    Shoot! I must have clicked on the wrong URL when I was on the website. Try this one:

    http://www.aids-info.ch/bilder/schule_aids/jpg_bilder/koch6_1.jpg

    I think that one should work.

    Prometheus

  151. #151 Dr. Spock
    January 4, 2009

    Well she is now burning in hell.

  152. #152 Fintan Dunne
    January 4, 2009

    Christine Maggoire
    Did Not Die of AIDS

    by Fintan Dunne, AidsIsOver.com
    4th January, 2009

    Based on an emerging time line of her illness, there is now increasing certainty that AIDS skeptic, Christine Maggiore did not suffer from from AIDS-related PCP pneumonia. There is also considerable doubt that her death was due to respiratory failure -the common cause of a fatal outcome resulting from a pneumonia infection.

    Journalist, Celia Farber has published an email from Christine to a personal friend on the 19th December — eight days prior to her untimely demise. The email makes clear that her health problems were associated with her commencing a therapeutic cleanse. An extract follows (my capitalization):

    “Regarding my health, I finally figured out what’s going on… but it got really scary. Here’s the scoop I just sent a friend: I have been through the absolute worst health nightmare ever. THE CLEANSE, while definitely bringing about some profound benefits, LEFT ME FEELING WEAK AND DEHYDRATED. I LOST MY APPETITE COMPLETELY ALMOST 10 DAYS AGO and for some weird reason could only tolerate hot tea and hot chicken broth. I had been in touch with the cleanse doc who said all was typical, uncomfortable but typical. Not one to quit, I KEPT GOING. Then I started to have trouble breathing….”

    The above extract clearly shows that Christine’s health problems started with the ‘cleanse.’ Complete loss of appetite was a serious development, indicating the severe impact of the cleanse on her metabolism. She writes that she had contacted the cleanse doctor, was reassured and “kept going.” A fatal decision, in retrospect.

    Let’s allow a couple of days during which Christine “kept going” with the cleanse. Only then does she write of breathing difficulty beginning:

    “Then I started to have trouble breathing, I was feeling winded after the most simple task like making the bed. This last Sunday, I stopped being able to sleep at all. So finally, genius that I am, I made an appointment to see my MD…”

    We don’t know the date in December on which she began the cleanse, but we now have enough information to construct a rough time line:

    Dec ?th: Begins ‘cleanse’.
    Dec 6th: Weak and exhausted.
    Dec 9th: Total appetite loss.
    Dec 10th: Records an audio with David Crowe.
    Dec 11th: Contacts cleanse doctor, continues cleanse.
    Dec 13th: Breathlessness begins.
    Dec 14th: No longer able to sleep.
    Dec 15th: Makes appointment with regular physician.
    Dec 18th: Sees physician, pneumonia diagnosed.
    Dec 27th: Deceased.

    Now let’s take a look at Christine’s description of the visit with her doctor:

    “She said I was totally dehydrated and having a reaction to the herbs in the cleanse which she thought were suspicious. I asked her to check my lungs and she said they sounded clear. I told her I thought I should have a chest Xray anyway, just to be sure, but she was skeptical because I hadn’t had a cold, flu, cough or fever. But I insisted so she wrote me up to go to a radiology place that would give an immediate reading.”

    There we have an informed medical opinion that Christine’s health problems were, in the words of her doctor: “a reaction to the herbs in the cleanse which she thought were suspicious.”

    Of further medical significance is that on Dec 18th her lungs, again in the words of her doctor, “sounded clear.” Also significant is the atypical absence of cough or fever.

    All this confirms the thrust of an audio I presented, that Christine’s audibly healthy respiratory function in broadcasts recorded just weeks prior to her death belies implications drawn from the L.A. coroner’s office statement asserting she had been treated for pneumonia in the previous six months.

    LISTEN : http://AidsIsOver.com/audio/aidsisover090102.mp3

    We have a period of 14 days from the start of breathlessness to death. That is inconsistent with AIDS-related PCP Pneumonia, which typically has a much longer progression.

    Furthermore, and this is again of great significance, her condition was under medical review, with the question of a possible hospital admission being on her doctor’s agenda. Again quoting from Christine’s email:

    “She said if I did not improve by the next day, I would have to go to the hospital….. I went back again today, had more IV treatments and she said if I can make it through the weekend without having to go to the hospital, she will be very happy.”

    Any worsening of Christine’s condition and her doctor would have consigned Christine to hospital quicker than you can say “ER”.

    In fact, the reverse happened. She immediately improved:

    “…I slept for the first time since Sunday last night. My appetite is getting back to normal…”

    As those with a medical background will know, it is virtually unheard of for a pneumonia patient to die at home. Invariably, mortality occurs in ICU on a ventilator:

    http://ajrccm.atsjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/162/2/393
    Improvements in Outcomes of Acute Respiratory Failure for HIV PC Pneumonia We examined ICU use and outcomes for patients with acute respiratory failure from PCP from 1995 to 1997…. Among 1,660 patients with confirmed or presumed PCP, 155 (9%) received mechanical ventilation for respiratory failure…. In conclusion, from 1995 to 1997, hospital survival after PCP requiring mechanical ventilation was approximately 40%.

    Christine’s medical issues were in response to the ‘cleanse’. A medical opinion supports that. Her pneumonia was improving. There was no ICU admission, thus no death from respiratory failure. Further investigation may reveal the actual proximate cause of death.

    I hope those who jumped to conclusions about the cause of Christine’s death will withdraw and apologize for that presumption. They should have waited until the facts began to emerge. Their intemperance spurred others into vindictive public comments on the Internet which have been very distressing to Christine’s bereaved extended family.

    The comment by the L.A coroner’s office to the L.A. Times that Christine had been treated for pneumonia “in the last six months”, is inexplicable and entirely unsupported by the emerging facts.

    Such a long period of treatment would have been consistent with an AIDS PCP pneumonia. Given that Christine’s legal action against L.A. coroner Dr James K Ribe was about to begin, the question of whether coroner’s office comment was malicious in intent is an open one. But there is no evidence it was. It is entirely possible it was an unintentional error.

    However, if it were to have been malicious, it would open up the possibility of a successful legal action for the entirely predictable distressing consequences for Christine’s bereaved relatives of such a prejudicial statement.

  153. #153 Orac
    January 4, 2009

    So what Fintan appears to be saying is that rank quackery in the form of a “cleanse” was what killed Maggiore.

    Or am I missing something?

    Of course, people don’t generally undergo such radical “cleanses,” even in the hands of quacks, unless they are feeling ill and think that “detoxification” is needed to make them better.

    Also, if Robin Scovill wants to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that Christine Maggiore did not die of an AIDS-defining pneumonia, it’s very easy for him to do so. All he has to do is to request an autopsy.

  154. #154 Robster, FCD
    January 4, 2009

    That isn’t good enough, Fintan. Considering that Celia has noted that Christine felt that she could never be sick, it is exceptionally likely that she would avoid going to a hospital unless forced, especially for pneumonia, to the point of lying to a doctor, intentionally or otherwise.

    Also, PCP isn’t the only pneumonia that affects AIDS patients, as any type of recurrent pneumonia (two episodes in a year) can be an AIDS defining illness.

  155. #155 dt
    January 4, 2009

    Fintan, I am an infectious diseases doctor and have personally managed hundreds of cases of PCP and other types of pneumonia.

    The information thus far available on Christine indicates a number of things:
    1. That she had about 2 weeks minimum of symptoms prior to her death, which is typical for PCP (this usually takes 2-3 weeks to progress as opposed to around 7 days for simple pneumonias).
    2. These symptoms (breathlessness with minimal exertion) are the hall mark of PCP, and are so typical that in themselves they should set alarm bells ringing in any clinician’s ears.
    3. Her doctor (who does [did?] not believe in the AIDS “paradigm”) did not manage her condition correctly, misdiagnosing her initial symptoms as being a “reaction to the herbs”. Brilliant.
    4. At that point, her lungs sounded clear (again this is quite typical for PCP) but at Christine’s insistence, an XRay revealed “bilateral pneumonia”.
    5. Ordinary “pneumonias” are always unilateral, in fact they are most often confined to a single lobe of a single lung. There are however 3 exceptions to this. They are:
    a). PCP, which is virtually always “bilateral”, b). Legionnaires disease, which may be bilateral, and c). Terminal bronchopneumonia in the elderly prior to death.
    6. Even with the diagnosis of bilateral pneumonia, Christine’s doctor did not consider hospitalization, but gave her antibiotics which obviously did not help cure her, but would have if she had a simple “pneumonia”.
    7. Failure of pneumonia to easily resolve with standard antibiotics is a sign that something else is wrong- usually the diagnosis is of a more serious or opportunistic pneumonia.
    8. Moderate to severe PCP is associated with significant inflammation of the lung and airways. Steroid hormones are always given (as well as specific antibiotics) to patients with this severity of PCP to reduce inflammation in the lung in the short term (a few days). So coincidentally, the steoids given by the doctor might have temporarily helped. However, without specific anti-PCP treatment, steroids would then have made things significantly worse, causing rapid deterioration of Christine’s health, which seems to fit with the time line.

    The information provided by you and Christine in her email actually help to point to PCP being the cause of her pneumonia.

    Another thing: Having a pneumonia in the previous 6 months would not necessarily make Christine chronically unwell as you assume. If it were a simple pneumonia, recovery would have been total and uneventful. However, in the context of HIV, having 2 attacks of even a “simple”, bog standard pneumonia within a 1 year time span is indicative of significant immunodeficiency. Anyone can get one attack of simple pneumonia, but 2 attacks and one’s suspicions fly off the top of the scale. Certainly in a supposedly healthy middle-aged woman, this whole story shouts out “immune deficiency” even if the terminal event was a severe “simple” pneumonia and not PCP (which as I have explained is far more likely).

    If anyone is responsible for this death it would appear to be the doctor, who
    1. Refused to consider the possibility of immunodeficiency in Christine,
    2. Misdiagnosed her symptoms as a reaction to herbs, when it was due to severe pneumonia,
    3. Mistreated her with antibiotics innapropriate or inadequate for her condition,
    4. Gave steroids which are contraindicated for simple pneumonia (though coincidentally they may help briefly in PCP)
    5. Failed to admit Christine to hospital for proper assessment and treatment.

    Christine herself has once again shown her abysmal choice of health care provider. She chose one who did not believe in HIV as EJ’s doctor, now she chose another for her own, and died as a result.

  156. #156 Snout
    January 4, 2009

    dt, I’d be wary about condemning Christine’s MD’s actions on the basis of Christine’s account of her medical consultations. Patients’ accounts of what goes on are often very different from what is happening from the physician’s point of view. We know that Christine’s view of the world was, to say the least, unusual.

    We know only the sketchiest details about Christine’s medical history over the past few months, years. A lot of it has been from less than reliable or disinterested sources.

    We don’t know if the doc failed to recognise the seriousness of the clinical presentation, or if s/he was simply unable to convince Christine and her family. This is not an ordinary case of a sick person struggling to face a difficult reality who can be brought around by patience and persuasion – Christine had a powerful social infrastructure of denial and very potent personal reasons to resist facing the truth.

    Often when a doctor is having trouble getting a sick patient to accept necessary treatment they can co-opt family and friends to help them see reason. This wasn’t the case here.

    We don’t know if the doc “failed to consider hospitalisation” or if s/he was simply unable to convince Christine to go. You cannot force someone to accept treatment unless they are certifiable because of mental illness. Maggiore may have been stubborn, foolish and misinformed, but there was no indication she was mentally ill.

  157. #157 dt
    January 4, 2009

    Fintan,
    I have listened to your podcast “AIDS is over”. You are laboring under the mistaken assumption that the pneumonia Christine was meant to have had in the last 6 months was the same one that went on to kill her. But there is not a shred of evidence for this. It seems likely she may have had one simple pneumonia within the last 6 months, but then developed a further pneumonia within the 3 weeks of her death. You admit the coroner’s office say she had pneumonia “within the last 6 months”. It is you, and you alone who is trying to magic up a diagnosis of persistent, chronic, ongoing pneumonia of several months duration. You are not a clinician or in any way medically trained, and it shows in your desperately clueless handwaving and dissembling.

    You wonder if the diagnosis of pneumonia “was correct”, despite the unequivocal evidence from Christine herself that the XRays showed “severe, bilateral pneumonia”? Who are you trying to kid here? (this is pure deja vu, seeing as how EJ had Xray signs of pneumonia, yet you concluded she had no such thing).

    Are you a doctor, or trained in medical matters, or an expert in radiological interpretation? Your ridiculous speculations hardly comprise evidence. Plenty of people die of infections at home before they are able to get to hospital if their disease suddenly worsens. Have you considered that Christine, realising she was dying, might have expressely told Robin not to admit her to hospital? She was reluctant to let her doctor do this earlier, and god knows she had plenty of reasons not to be admitted where she would have been subjected to intense blood work up and the diagnosis of underlying HIV/AIDS would never be able to be concealed?

    So you think Christine did not die of pneumonia. What killed her then?
    Do you subscribe to the theory Christine was killed by her “detox” practitioner?
    How about “Christine died from an allergic reaction to the Azithromycin she was given by her doctor”?
    Or will you jump horses midstream and try, as others have, to say Christine was so chronicaly weak, run down, stressed and depressed by events since the death of EJ that she was immunodeficient from this, hence succumbed easily to an infection? [No, I guess you won't say this, as you seem quite desperate to prove she was in great health the month before she died]
    Will Al-Bayati be summoned to provide several other totally implausible diagnoses?
    We must wait and see…..

  158. #158 dt
    January 4, 2009

    Yes, Snout, perhaps I am too tough on her MD. (I’d like to know who she is though). Certainly her initial misdiagnosis does not inspire any confidence, nor the resort to “natural steroids” to treat an acute infection. She may however have done all she could to get Christine into hopital care, that I concede.

    There seems to be an information vacuum around the events leading up to Christine’s death, or even in the 8 days from her email. I wouldn’t want to pry, but without knowing if she was deteriorating with signs of respiratory failure it is difficult to conclude that the death was due to the pneumonia/PCP as has been presumed. Who decided the “cause” as we have it? If no autopsy is held, then the best evidence I guess anyone could expect would be from the doc doing the death certification.

  159. #159 dt
    January 4, 2009

    Oh, and where I come from, a middle aged woman dying at home, even with a label of “pneumonia”, would automatically be required to have an autopsy by the medical examiner in order to fully ascertain the cause of death.

  160. #160 Chris Noble
    January 4, 2009

    Yes, Snout, perhaps I am too tough on her MD. (I’d like to know who she is though). Certainly her initial misdiagnosis does not inspire any confidence, nor the resort to “natural steroids” to treat an acute infection. She may however have done all she could to get Christine into hopital care, that I concede.

    What do you do if you know that a patient won’t listen to your advice? Do you refuse to treat them?

    That’s the only defense I can think of.

  161. #161 Snout
    January 4, 2009

    What do you do if you know that a patient won’t listen to your advice? Do you refuse to treat them?

    That’s the only defense I can think of.

    Yeah, that might be the most defensible approach, but it’s often difficult in practice, particularly if you have a longstanding relationship with your client. Sometimes you just do the best you can under the circumstances. Whether that’s wise or not I don’t know.

    If you do make the latter choice to keep plugging on you need to make sure you document everything, particularly the advice you have given and which has been refused. The old medical indemnity maxim applies: “Good notes = good defence, poor notes = poor defence, no notes = no defence”.

    I hope for her own sake her doc has kept meticulous records. I think it would be a very foolish physician who would not have recognised pretty early on that this case had a high probability of ending badly, and that there might be intense scrutiny of her standard of care.

    I’d be interested to know what the “natural steroids” were about, and about azithromycin as first choice therapy for bilateral pneumonia in a person who’d had HIV for 16 years and had refused antiretrovirals and PCP prophylaxis. If, in fact, that’s what happened.

    But I suppose my point is we only have a highly selective version of the story as presented by AIDS denialists in damage control, and perhaps it’s better to reserve judgement until more of the objective facts are known.

  162. #162 Hanna
    January 4, 2009

    Fintan – when truth is on your side, you needn’t lie. But it’s all you do!

    “Of further medical significance is that on Dec 18th her lungs, again in the words of her doctor, “sounded clear.” Also significant is the atypical absence of cough or fever.”

    Her doctor was CLEARLY WRONG, as the VERY SAME DAY Christine had a chest x-ray done that confirmed bi-lateral pneumonia, which Christine accepted and reported to a friend the very next day (this email) that she’d begun IV antibiotic therapy.

    STOP LYING!

    And who cares when she began this “cleanse.” The question is WHY DID SHE FEEL THE NEED TO DO A RADICAL DETOX AND CLEANSE? Umm…..because she was friggen sick!

  163. #163 Li
    January 5, 2009

    Meanwhile, the pediatrician who treated (or failed to treat) Maggiore’s daughter is still practicing and providing care to two families that I know in my neighborhood. ARGH.

  164. #164 Rogue Epidemiologist
    January 5, 2009

    Li, this blog covers Dr. Jay Gordon on a pretty regular basis because he’s in the anti-vaccination camp. However this time around, we’re not blaming him for that child’s death because Christine Maggiore shopped the girl around to several doctors into order to make sure the child was treated as she saw fit, but not necessarily what was most effective.

  165. #165 Becky Bets
    January 5, 2009

    Attention all AIDS Denialists!
    Gary Null has announced a special on Coffee Enemas.
    Since Celia Faber proclaimed that Christine Maggiore died of a radical detox, coffee enema sales have gone down the toilet.
    This special will not last – these things are going like shit through a goose!
    Poor Gary Null, he was just about to announce a whole new product line of specialty enemas… Crappuccino, Iced Poopuccino, Asspresso and the ever popular Assresso Fartte
    Hurry Now!

  166. #166 Chris Noble
    January 5, 2009

    Here is more evidence of AIDS without HIV, about 40% of people antibody positive have no virus detectable by culture. Dr. Rodney Richards. Our scientific father.

    Are you sure Richards wasn’t employed to wash the floors? He never actually says what he did at Amgen.

    Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 detected in all seropositive symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals.

  167. #167 Li
    January 6, 2009

    Rogue Epidemiologist, I was referring to Paul Fleiss, not Jay Gordon. Fleiss is still a licensed pediatrician and I personally know of at least two families that take their children to him. It drives me absolutely nuts.

  168. #168 WEJ
    January 6, 2009

    Chimpanzees inoculted [with HIV] don’t die, and neither do SIV infected wild animals

    It’s not true – chimpanzees inoculated with HIV have developed AIDS and died – look for papers by H. McClure and colleagues at Yerkes primate center. Chimps inoculated with lab strain HIV in the late 80s/early 90s eventually did succumb to AIDS. The chimp is not a good animal model (because like humans, there is a long period between inoculation and AIDS), and such experiments to my knowledge have stopped. The long period between infection and disease in chimps is not surprising – in naturally infected humans it can often take 10 or more years. And wild monkeys do progress to AIDS, if they are infected with an SIV from another species to which they have not adapted – just like humans.

  169. #169 Lurkbot
    January 6, 2009

    You could inject a human with HIV on national television, and if he didn’t drop dead in 15 or 20 minutes, everybody would lose interest.

    When he did die 10 years later: “Correlation is not causation. If everybody who got PCP pneumonia had eaten ice cream in the last 10 years…yada, yada, yada, QED.”

    “How can anybody be stupid enough to believe that somebody could die from something they were exposed to 10 or 20 years earlier?” “What about tertiary syphilis? We’ve known about that for 500 years?” “Lalalalalal–I can’t hear you….”

  170. #170 JoshS
    January 6, 2009

    Melinda Lozano – cut the maudlin crap. No compassionate person wants to destroy anyone, and of course it’s terribly sad that Christine died. But she likely brought it on herself, and it doesn’t matter if that doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s true. What’s infinitely worse is the real world damage she caused to other people, most of all her daughter. Your dear friend’s misguided crusade cost her daughter her life, and her irrational crusade has sucked other people into making choices that could well kill them prematurely. She may be sincere as all hell, but she was wrong, and she was dangerous.

    She’s not entitled to your preferred hagiography or quiet deference just because she died. She made herself a prominent public figure as an AIDS denialist, and she’s not magically off-limits from criticism just because she died. She may have been the most wonderful, compassionate friend, wife and mother. I have no trouble believing that. But she was deluded, and her actions are morally *repugnant*. Contemptible.

  171. #171 JoshS
    January 6, 2009

    Oh, and one more thing, Melinda Lozano. You wrote:

    “I have known Christine for 30 years…way before she was diagnosed or not…way before her Aids work…”

    I’m sorry, but fuck you. Her “AIDS work?” I’ll tell you who did “AIDS work”:

    1. The researchers who invented the antiretroviral drugs that saved my dear friend (one of the longest AIDS survivors, having been infected in 1983)from dying. He was a skeleton and months away from death when they came out, and I’ve had the joy of his company these many years after I was making his funeral plans.

    2. The Pharmaceutical companies who produce them (and don’t even think about screaming about their profit motives. I don’t care. They save lives; they don’t kill people with misinformation).

    3. The ACT-UP folks who screamed bloody murder to persuade the government to wake up and take AIDS research seriously.

    4. The doctors and internists who’ve made a specialty of treating long-term AIDS survivors like my friend. Constantly adjusting their medications, helping them balance one side effect against another, tweaking this and that to give them not only quantity of life but the best possible quality of life.

    That’s compassion. That’s “AIDS work.” Don’t you dare try to lay claim to that mantle on behalf of your friend.

  172. #172 cooler
    January 6, 2009

    “tertiary syphilis?”

    Is what happened when they exposed people with Syphillis to mercury fumes to “cure them.” Man you guys are stupid.

    Wikipedia entry on syphillis

    “Another common remedy was mercury: the use of which gave rise to the saying “A night in the arms of Venus leads to a lifetime on Mercury”.[31] It was administered multiple ways including by mouth and by rubbing it on the skin. One of the more curious methods was fumigation, in which the patient was placed in a closed box with his head sticking out. Mercury was placed in the box and a fire was started under the box which caused the mercury to vaporize. It was a grueling process for the patient and the least effective for delivering mercury to the body. The use of mercury was the earliest known suggested treatment for syphilis, dating back to The Canon of Medicine (1025) by the Persian physician, Ibn Sina (Avicenna).[32]

  173. #173 cooler
    January 6, 2009

    @wej, Chimpanzees rarely if ever get AIDS from HIV inoculations

    “In any case, the real issue is HIV, which has never caused any immune deficiency in animals including chimpanzees, the closest known animal to humans. In an interview in the November-December 1999 issue of Modern Maturity, Jane Goodall, the world-renowned scientist and activist for saving the chimpanzee, commented on failed attempts to give them AIDS by injecting them with HIV positive blood. She also commented on the horrid conditions that these chimps are forced to live under:

    “Since the early ’80s they’ve been doing everything in their power to give chimps AIDS. They’ve injected them in the spinal cord, in the brain, in the blood, in the muscles — but they have not succeeded in giving a single chimp AIDS. Even Gallo now says chimps are useless in AIDS research…
    I’d heard some chimps were being kept at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland, where we were meeting, so I asked him (Robert Gallo) to see if that was true. He went down this long, dark underground corridor with animal rooms on both sides. He opened one of the doors, and there was a chimp in a very small cage rocking from side to side, hitting the side of the cage. Rocking and hitting its head, rocking and hitting its head, rocking and hitting its head. There was a young woman in the room in a white coat blowing soap bubbles. He asked the woman what she was doing that for. She said, “To enrich the lives of the chimps.”

    Under such inhumane living conditions, even if the chimpanzees became sick, one would rightfully question whether any virus was necessary. Sadly, this question would probably never be raised by those eager to defend the HIV hypothesis. The preponderance of weak animal analogies highlights the fact that there are many hypotheses for how HIV could cause AIDS in humans, but none of them have held up under scientific scrutiny. (Roederer 1998)

    “The surplus is an unexpected legacy of AIDS. In the early days of the epidemic, scientists theorized that the chimp would be a useful model to study the disease in people.

    In 1986, the health institutes began an aggressive breeding program that doubled the laboratory chimp population, only to find that although chimpanzees could contract the AIDS virus, they rarely became sick from it. ”

    For Retired Chimps, A Life of Leisure New York Times 2003

    Well if one chimp out of hundereds gets a low t cell count after being abused in a cage for decades, thats good enough for the HIV establishment.

  174. #174 Lurkbot
    January 6, 2009

    The use of mercury was the earliest known suggested treatment for syphilis, dating back to The Canon of Medicine (1025) by the Persian physician, Ibn Sina (Avicenna).

    Cooler, if you and/or Wikipedia think syphilis existed (in the Old World, anyway) in 1025, I suggest you pick up a history book.

  175. #175 Brian
    January 7, 2009

    “Oh, and one more thing, Melinda Lozano. You wrote:

    “I have known Christine for 30 years…way before she was diagnosed or not…way before her Aids work…”

    I’m sorry, but fuck you. Her “AIDS work?” I’ll tell you who did “AIDS work”:

    1. The researchers who invented the antiretroviral drugs that saved my dear friend (one of the longest AIDS survivors, having been infected in 1983)from dying. He was a skeleton and months away from death when they came out, and I’ve had the joy of his company these many years after I was making his funeral plans.

    2. The Pharmaceutical companies who produce them (and don’t even think about screaming about their profit motives. I don’t care. They save lives; they don’t kill people with misinformation).

    3. The ACT-UP folks who screamed bloody murder to persuade the government to wake up and take AIDS research seriously.

    4. The doctors and internists who’ve made a specialty of treating long-term AIDS survivors like my friend. Constantly adjusting their medications, helping them balance one side effect against another, tweaking this and that to give them not only quantity of life but the best possible quality of life.

    That’s compassion. That’s “AIDS work.” Don’t you dare try to lay claim to that mantle on behalf of your friend. ”

    JoshS, it’s people like you that bring it all home. I work in an HIV lab. I actually work on hepatitis C, but I’m surrounded by people that work on HIV. It’s very easy for us to get caught up in the trees. What are the factors involved in maintenance of viral latency? How exactly does transinfection by antigen-presenting cells in the periphery work? Most of the time, these are “just” academic questions. Not that we don’t realize intellectually how important answering these questions are. But viscerally, it’s maybe a few times a year you realize that what you do affects real people. And real people’s lives.

    We work long hours for very little money. It would be fantastic if we could save millions of lives, billions of research dollars, and countless human suffering by demonstrating that HIV does not cause AIDS, and that some more easily solvable, more proximate problem does. Unfortunately, HIV is the causative agent of AIDS. That’s it.

    HIV does not lend itself to vaccination and is incredibly variant. It’s not that we haven’t done a lot. In fact, I think that antibiotics and antiretrovirals will be the retrospective health “miracles” of the 20th/early 21st centuries. But we will be dealing with HIV for a while. A long while. Thank you, JoshS, for the visceral reminder of why I do what I do.

  176. #176 Robster, FCD
    January 7, 2009

    Lurkbot is very likely to be correct. The bacteria that causes syphilis (Treponema pallidium) is very likely related to a South American Treponema, and the first recorded syphilis outbreak in Europe occurred in 1495.

    Skeletons with bone lesions associated with Treponema infection were examined from the “old world” and “new world” and there were new world, pre Columbus remains with syphilitic lesions, but the old world, pre 1942 remains only had lesions characterizing related diseases.

    Add that do a complete lack of anybody having written down a description of a disease similar to syphilis pre 1492, and it is very unlikely that it existed in Europe before explorers brought it home.

  177. #177 karma
    January 7, 2009

    Christine Maggiore was a murderer. So are all other HIV denialists.

  178. #178 JoshS
    January 7, 2009

    Thank you, Brian, and thanks to all your colleagues, for doing that work. It’s meant the difference between life and death for so many people. Watching friend’s viral load dropping – and to see his weight climbing and his color come back – was one of the happiest times of my life. Like the feeling you get when you have a particularly wrenching, depressing nightmare, and the enormous relief that washes over you when you realize you’re awake and it isn’t real.

  179. #179 frankie
    June 1, 2009

    Did someone call Maggiore a heroine for killing her baby girl and countless other who followed her ill advices? The fact that no autopsy and no information was given out prove the case that she had indeed died of aids. It’s one thing to question but it’s another to deny and promote denial. But hey, this is a cult and so if people with aids are foolish enough to believe it then too bad.

  180. #180 frankie
    June 1, 2009

    Did someone call Maggiore a heroine for killing her baby girl and countless other who followed her ill advices? The fact that no autopsy and no information was given out prove the case that she had indeed died of aids. It’s one thing to question but it’s another to deny and promote denial. But hey, this is a cult and so if people with aids are foolish enough to believe it then too bad. Is funny how her friends are saying that she was just someone who believed in what she believed, well, her believe had cost many lives!

  181. #181 frankie
    June 1, 2009

    Did someone call Maggiore a heroine for killing her baby girl and countless other who followed her ill advices? The fact that no autopsy and no information was given out prove the case that she had indeed died of aids. It’s one thing to question but it’s another to deny and promote denial. But hey, this is a cult and so if people with aids are foolish enough to believe it then too bad. Is funny how her friends are saying that she was just someone who believed in what she believed, well, her believe had cost many lives!

  182. #182 Chris
    June 1, 2009

    frankie, read the error message!

  183. #183 Chr Monsune
    June 4, 2009

    People have their beliefs and will act accordingly. It is up to society to act. We failed in the case of EJ.

    Maggiore was guilty of manslaughter for the death of EJ, just like she would have been if he had believed that inhaling large amount of CO was healthy and for this reason had placed EJ in front of a car’s exhaustion pipe.

    For her opinion and writings, she was entitled to them. The principle of free speech is a fundamental right, even when it leads to damage.
    Just as I am entitled to call her a person that the world is better without.

  184. #184 Chr Monsune
    June 4, 2009

    People have their beliefs and will act accordingly. It is up to society to act. We failed in the case of EJ.

    Maggiore was guilty of manslaughter for the death of EJ, just like she would have been if he had believed that inhaling large amount of CO was healthy and for this reason had placed EJ in front of a car’s exhaustion pipe.

    For her opinion and writings, she was entitled to them. The principle of free speech is a fundamental right, even when it leads to damage.
    Just as I am entitled to call her a person that the world is better without.

  185. #185 Chr Monsune
    June 4, 2009

    People have their beliefs and will act accordingly. It is up to society to act. We failed in the case of EJ.

    Maggiore was guilty of manslaughter for the death of EJ, just like she would have been if he had believed that inhaling large amount of CO was healthy and for this reason had placed EJ in front of a car’s exhaustion pipe.

    For her opinion and writings, she was entitled to them. The principle of free speech is a fundamental right, even when it leads to damage.
    Just as I am entitled to call her a person that the world is better without.

  186. #186 Jim Allegretti
    June 25, 2009

    I’m going to make a simple statement. Christine’s book completely changed the course of my life. I am five years OFF the poision drugs now, an much better for it. Pitty the side effects of the drugs are attributed to the viurs, as the average person believes what they are fed. I’m Free from the experimentation that Big Pharama put me through. 14 years of poision pills was ENOUGH.

    Hilo, Hawaii

  187. #187 Jim Allegretti
    June 25, 2009

    Christine was right, and so is Dr. Peter Duesberg. I am 60 months off the poision medications, and no problems. This needs to be brought to national public attention, because profits are being put before people’s health, and life.

    God bless all the ones duped to death by big pharma. God damn to one’s who did it.

    Hilo, Hawaii

  188. #188 Chris
    June 25, 2009

    “Christine was right”… and still quite dead.

  189. #189 ababa
    June 25, 2009

    Chris said: “Christine was right”… and still quite dead.

    And her poor daughter too.

    I have a common sense question. Maybe it’s addressed, but I’m not a fan of reading conspiracy theory websites. Has anyone diagnosed with AIDS ever been identified as not HIV positive? Yeah, correlation does not equal causation – but I don’t believe I have even heard of such a thing. Not a single case.

  190. #190 quicksilver
    November 25, 2009

    lets assume that christine died because she didnt took any antiretrovirals, would the antiretroviral treament can treat her and will surely free from hiv if that what you believe the main cause of aids? i dont know who speaks the truth about this debate, but can this debate produce a miracle to stop this what you called epedimic on hiv/aids hypothesis? hypothesis? theory? means its not clear, not proven! scientific? where are those scientific papers that for a long time asked by so called denialists to prove that hiv causes aids. denialists? can anyone tell me that those names mentioned on denialsts list were not credible to what they believe? they were noble prize? and why this hiv?aids hypothesis creates two sides? science should be base on facts. once base on facts, then we are sure that we are heading on one direction.

  191. #191 Chris
    November 25, 2009

    It took you how many months to come up with that comment?

    Funny thing, one of our cats is called Quicksilver. She probably has the same understanding of the science as you do.

  192. #192 quicksilver
    November 30, 2009

    maybe, maybe im just a random average guy, and you can compare me to anything you want, but just give me one scientific document that will prove that hiv causes aids, just one, how many months do you need? years? take your time

  193. #193 Chris
    November 30, 2009

    Who cares what a troll thinks, especially after it takes five days to think? The evidence exists, but you may not understand it… because it is obvious you don’t even know how to even start finding out where to find the reseach. Try using PubMed. Putting the words “hiv aids” in the search box brings up over 78000 hits, reduce that to just over 11000 hits by requesting only reviews. Then go to older reviews like PMID 3332780 and 8493571 as starters… which took me five minutes to find (for you it may take five months), and there are plenty of others.

    Some other places to start research:
    http://www.aidstruth.org/

    But Maggiore and her daughter are still dead. Both from AIDS related infections due to not following reality based medical protocols that have allowed many HIV positive people to live for decades. Pity how a belief system can destroy a family.

  194. #194 Chris
    November 30, 2009

    You might also check what other papers have been posted in the comments:
    http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2008/12/hivaids_denialist_christine_maggiore_die.php#comment-1298388

  195. #195 batman
    December 1, 2009

    troll? hmmm.. it shows how you judge those people who oppose hiv/aids, just how you judge me and you dont even know me. well it took me 5 days just because internet is not the only thing i do, but its just fine. as ive said, im just an ordinary guy. pardon me if i dont know everything just as you do. would it be very interesting if nih will hire you because you know all of this things…. and i like you, your even smarter than peter duesberg or even kary mullis. if you say that there is a documents, then so be it. finding the truth is the only thing i care.. even millions of people with this kind of disease as you say. i hope debating will end and cure will start. God Bless Bro

  196. #196 Chris
    December 8, 2009

    Perhaps, quicksilver/batman, you would benefit more if you actually attempted to pay attention in school. Work on your literacy skills, and then perhaps you can understand the science, and the severe lack of science used by Duesberg and Mullis.

    The debate is over, and there has been progress. While there is no cure, there are treatments that have increased the survival of thousands of people. For an idea read the 100 page (large file download) WHO 2009 AIDS Epidemic Update.

  197. #197 rick
    January 29, 2012

    I’m sorry but I feel that this woman is right where she deserves to be, 6 feet under, The death of that little girl should have gotten someone in deep SHIT, excuse my language, but when someone that is there to protect a kid with their lives like I would do for my kids, fails to do so because of thier fairy tale beliefs, there should be murder charges, And for the estimated 330,000 that her and duesberg helped kill in South Africa, I hope she is rotting in a Burning liquid hell fire, There is nothing more evil than what these people did and still do every single day, May each and every Denialist Burn and Rot in hell.