Christine Maggiore

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Christine Maggiore (July 25, 1956–December 27, 2008) was an AIDS denialist — a person who believed, contrary to the scientific evidence, that AIDS is not caused by HIV. In addition, she was HIV positive. Before being diagnosed as HIV positive in 1992, she had been a successful businesswoman, founding a multi-million dollar clothing import/export company. She initially campaigned with mainstream HIV/AIDS groups before coming under the spell of Peter Duesberg. This led her to found the AIDS denialist group "Alive & Well with AIDS Alternatives".

She loudly proclaimed that HIV doesn't cause AIDS because, in her case, it didn't. Whether through luck or good genetics, she managed to avoid suffering the symptoms of AIDS for years after being diagnosed. For any sane person, this would be great news; unfortunately, Christine Maggiore wasn't quite sane. Because she fervently believed that HIV was harmless—not just for her, but for others too—she failed to take necessary steps to protect others from the virus. Specifically, she failed to protect her daughter Eliza Jane from HIV transmission by allowing doctors to treat her with antiretrovirals, and she breastfed Eliza Jane, despite that breastfeeding increases the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child. Eliza Jane died at age three from AIDS-opportunistic pneumonia.[1]

The reaction of Maggiore and other AIDS denialists to Eliza Jane's death was outright denial. After LA County coroner's report found the cause of death to be pneumonia caused by AIDS, Maggiore hired Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati, a veterinary toxicologist, vaccine denialist, and author of Get All the Facts: HIV Does Not Cause AIDS, or as they think of him, an unbiased expert, to evaluate it, and he instead claims that Eliza Jane's death was due to an adverse reaction to amoxicillin.[2] Maggiore even doubled down on her AIDS-denying activism after her daughter's death, starring in a 2009 HIV/AIDS-denialist documentary titled House of Numbers to cast doubt on the validity of HIV tests. Her testimony in the film presents the series of tests she underwent over the course of several years as ambiguous and contradictory, but to assemble her narrative, she shuffled the order of the test results and misrepresented their meaning.[3] [4]

And then the same happened to Maggiore. On December 26, 2008, at age 52, she died of AIDS-opportunistic pneumonia,[5] and again the AIDS denialist community made excuses, claiming it was caused by a "detox cleanse" that left her too weak to fight off pneumonia and playing all sorts of games to spin and deny the obvious.[6][7]