So, last week I was watching Law & Order: SVU as I do every Tuesday night, and the episode involved a quack AIDS denialist doctor and a case of a mother’s negligent homicide of her child. And the entire time I kept asking myself: is this for real? Are there really folks out there that believe that AIDS is not caused by HIV, that it is not fatal and that you can be effectively “cured” simply by taking vitamins and eating nutritional foods?
Thus, I do what I always do when I stumble upon such conundrums…I googled it! And lo and hold there popped up that very case that the episode was based upon. The case was that of Christine Maggiore, a mother whose criminal negligence led to the death of her child. Ms. Maggiore persists in believing to this day that HIV does not cause AIDS and even lends her voice to the cause of AIDS denialism through her very own non-profit Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives.
What I really don’t understand is why people believe this? Am I the only one that thinks that this is absolute garbage? Now, usually I’m the first one to shout conspiracy theory, but (in my humble opinion) this is one case (the Holocaust is another) where the facts just outweigh the fiction. You can’t deny the effect that AIDS has had on individual’s lives. You can’t wish away the fact that millions have died from the disease and who, despite new drugs and new science, continue to die. These things are undeniable.
These people would have you believe that the drugs only make people more sick, but the sad truth is that sometimes the very thing meant to cure can also make you ill. Antibiotics can hurt your stomach, a flu vaccine can actually give you the flu. Homeopathic remedies can be an alternative or replacement to modern medicine (like with headaches, body aches, and colds), and as preventative care, but herbs, fruits and veggies cannot cure AIDS. And I’m sure that drug companies are making millions off people living with AIDS but, I think that there is a consensus on the fact that these drugs are greatly needed and they have been proven to work and keep people alive. We live in a capitalist system and as long as there is something that the people need and can’t get for themselves, there will always be people trying to exploit them. However, there are also a lot of social services that have financial assistance available for people that need to taken medicine regularly but can’t afford to buy these drugs at the pharmacy.
Bottom line: AIDS Denialism is huge crock o’ bull. People have the right to believe what they want, but not at the expense of people’s lives.