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HIV denialist
pleads case on TV

HIV denialist
pleads case on TV

Christine Maggiore refutes reports that her daughter died of AIDS-related pneumonia

Christine Maggiore, an HIV-positive woman who does not believe that HIV causes AIDS, appeared on Thursday evening's broadcast of ABC TV's newsmagazine Primetime to refute medical evidence that says her 3-year-old daughter died earlier this year of AIDS-related complications, the Los Angeles Times reports. Maggiore, the founder of the HIV denialist group Alive and Well AIDS Alternatives, had never tested her daughter for HIV infection, and she had taken no steps to prevent her child from acquiring HIV, such as taking antiretroviral drugs during childbirth or avoiding breast feeding her. A Los Angeles coroner ruled earlier this year that the child died of AIDS-related pneumonia.

Maggiore is being investigated for possible child endangerment following her daughter's death and has tested her 8-year-old son for HIV antibodies; he has tested negative three times since his sister's death. Los Angeles police are continuing an investigation into possible criminal charges against Maggiore and her husband. The medical board of California also is investigating the care provided to Maggiore's daughter by three physicians in the weeks prior to her death to determine if they had failed to give the child proper care.

Maggiore said during the Primetime interview that her daughter's death has not changed her opinion that HIV does not cause AIDS and says an independent review of her daughter's medical records suggests she died not of AIDS-related pneumonia but of a severe allergic reaction to an antibiotic medication she had been taking for an ear infection. But the Times reports that the toxicologist Maggiore hired to review her daughter's case, Mohammed Ali Al-Bayati, is a member of the advisory board for her denialist group and is the author of the book Get All the Facts: HIV Does Not Cause AIDS. He also did not perform an autopsy on Maggiore's daughter or review slides prepared by the coroner but based all his conclusions only on the child's medical records, according to the Times.

The newspaper asked Harry Vinters, chief of neuropathology at the University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center, to review both the coroner's report and Al-Bayati's report, and he says he believes the coroner's conclusion that Maggiore's daughter died of AIDS-related pneumonia is accurate. He also told the Times that Al-Bayati's report "probably is incomplete." (

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