From NBC Evening News, February 28, 2001
The AIDS Controversy
 
“In her book What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong? Maggiore outlines her research: why she thinks HIV tests are meaningless, and why she doesn’t buy into the HIV equals AIDS equals death paradigm. Her theories are resonating among many…”

 
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Paul Moyer: What if everything you thought you knew about AIDS was wrong? A Los Angeles woman who is HIV-positive is using her own example to promote a theory that AIDS is not caused by the HIV virus! Channel 4’s Anna Garcia has this woman’s extraordinary and, yes, controversial story.
 
Anna Garcia: The sounds of a normal family, living in a comfortable home in the suburbs of Los Angeles. Christine Maggiore is packing lunch for her three-year-old. Her son Charlie, her husband, her health, are things that she thought she would never have when she was diagnosed HIV-positive.
 
Maggiore: I began living as though I were dying, making preparations for my demise, which I was told would take place in five to seven years. I started gearing my life around eventual illness.
 
Garcia: That was nine years ago. Maggiore never developed the devastating Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. She does not take antiviral drugs. She is alive and well — and that’s what she named her grass-roots organization, headquartered in a garage office. Maggiore’s life had taken a dramatic turn. She went from a spokesperson for a mainstream AIDS group to a rebel crusader promoting an unconventional theory that HIV does not cause AIDS.
 
Maggiore: I don’t see compelling, reasonable scientific evidence to suggest that I need to be living as if I were dying.
 
Rock Singer [film clip]: I thought I saw a raven/Sitting on a window sill/I thought I had a fever/But it must have been a chill.
 
Garcia: Maggiore will take any opportunity to spread her message. Earlier this month, she set up her information at a benefit rock concert at the El Rey Theatre.
 
Audience Member: This is you here?
 
Maggiore: [Speaking to group gathered at book display] Yeah, that’s a book I wrote. I was trying to write a brochure, and I ended up accidentally writing that book.
 
Audience Member: Wow!
 
Garcia: Her book, What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?, has sold 28,000 copies, including editions in German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. In it, she outlines her research: why she thinks HIV tests are meaningless, and why she doesn’t buy into the HIV equals AIDS equals death paradigm. Her theories are resonating among many in the audience at this concert, called "Rock the AIDS Establishment."
 
Maggiore [speaking to audience at concert]: Nine years later, I’m alive and well without any AIDS treatments. [Audience applause] The reason I have everything I was told I no longer had a right to expect is because I didn’t followed doctors’ orders. I questioned them. And I urge all of you to join us in questioning what we’re told about AIDS.
 
Garcia: The Centers for Disease Control call this alternative AIDS viewpoint a "hoax" and a "rumor." Its Web site devotes a page to address Maggiore’s claims, and in a statement to NBC 4, the CDC says, "The scientific evidence is overwhelming and compelling that HIV is the cause of AIDS. The myth that HIV is not the primary cause of AIDS misleads people living with HIV infection, and could cause them to reject treatment critical for their own health."
 
Maggiore: We don’t tell them, "Take the drugs,” or “Don’t take the drugs." We don’t take any position on that at all. What we do is make people aware of the other side of the story with regard to the drug therapies, and people can make up their own minds about how they want to live their lives.
 
Garcia: Maggiore lives the lifestyle she preaches. Her son was conceived naturally, and she gave birth without drugs routinely given to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus.
 
Maggiore: While I was pregnant, an AIDS activist wanted to have me declared an unfit mother because I did not want to take AZT during my pregnancy. I felt very strongly that I would not expose myself to a toxic chemotherapy drug while pregnant.
 
Garcia: Her husband, Robin Scovill, supported Maggiore’s decision 100 percent. Charlie was born healthy, at home, because no hospital or birthing clinic would even deliver her baby. Charlie has never been tested for HIV.
 
Maggiore: To give my son an inaccurate, non-specific test seems wrong to me, because he could be falsely labeled ill when in fact he’s gloriously healthy. It was a tough go, but the decision that I made to have my son — thank goodness I made that decision…he’s just the absolute light of my life
 
Garcia: While this approach is considered controversial, this family says it works for them.
 
Charlie Scovill:
[Playing on floor with train set] I’m missing a train car!
 
Garcia: Anna Garcia, Channel 4 News.
 
Newscaster: We contacted AIDS Project Los Angeles and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation for a possible comment. Both groups turned us down, saying they don’t want to give any credibility to the woman’s claims.
 

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