What about Kimberly Bergalis?

Dear Alive & Well,

I urge you to remember the case of Kimberly Bergalis. [Kimberly Bergalis is the Florida woman who died of AIDS in 1989 after allegedly being infected with HIV by her dentist]

Although I loathed her grandstanding, she did serve as an example of someone who never did recreational drugs but died of the same immune system meltdown with the same bony and gaunt face as my friends. Despite what you say, there is ample evidence that AIDS DOES exist. It is not a byproduct of drug use. It's an infection.

Mike Salinas

Dear Mike,

After being diagnosed HIV positive, Kimberly Bergalis took AZT in the tremendously high doses used in the mid to late 1980s. Today, great numbers of AIDS experts on all sides of the issue acknowledge that AZT is extremely toxic and the high dose treatments given back in Kimberly's time were responsible for countless deaths.

Prior to beginning AZT treatment, Kimberly was not seriously ill. She had a yeast infection-a common occurrence possibly caused in her case by antibiotics taken after dental work, and pneumonia. Some 30,000 HIV negative Americans die each year from pneumonia-pneumonia happens and is not uncommon among college age people like Kimberly who often "burn the candle at both endsÓ through study, work, partying, lack of adequate sleep and nutrition.

Once Kimberly started taking daily doses of AZT chemotherapy, she wasted away like a typical chemotherapy recipient. She lost weight, muscle mass, her hair and her appetite; she developed rashes, acne and neuropathy to the degree she could hardly walk. If you check a medical dictionary or the Merck Manual, you will find Kimberly Bergalis suffering described most succinctly as side effects of DNA chain terminating chemotherapy treatment.

However unfortunate, Kimberly Bergalis' story does not provide conclusive evidence that AIDS is a contagious condition caused by HIV. In scientific terms, Kimberly's experience would constitute a poorly designed study of one with no control. But for the sake of discussion, let's say that one person's experience suffices to prove HIV causes AIDS.

Does the lesser known story of a woman born the same year as Kimberly, diagnosed HIV positive the same year, who unlike Kimberly had suffered with serious illness (Crohn's disease and arthritis) prior to testing positive who opted to take natural treatments and today is healthy, happily married, and the mother of two healthy little girls (both born without medical intervention) prove HIV does not cause AIDS?

Thanks for writing,




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