Stories of getting hooked into AIDS Denialism have much in common. This is the latest addition to my series on how AIDS Denialism can kill you. have also updated previous posts from the series. Thank you again for sharing your experiences with me and for allowing me to share them on my blog.
"One too many" coincidences
I borrowed plenty of literature from the doctor. Mainly articles by Stefan Lanka and Peter Duesberg, and some Continuum magazine issues. Truth is I was sold on it. I later did my own research on the Internet. I found websites like Alive and Well or Virusmyth, which found their way into my bookmark list. I thought they sounded believable. They were definitely saying the things you like to hear. The scientific dissidents were believable because they seemed very confident in their assumptions. And then there are (or were...) people like Christine Maggiore who I could relate to because she was just a lay person in apparent perfect state of health.
I can tell you that I have been harmed by my years of buying into AIDS denialism. First, I wasn't too careful about my sexual activities for many years, precisely because I believed HIV might not even exist.
In 2006 I had clear symptoms of syphilis and went to get tested. It came out positive, and because the HIV test is included in the work up, I got the surprise HIV positive result too. Because of my dissident beliefs, I didn't really care about the HIV diagnosis and ignored the doctor's advice to start a follow-up for CD4 counts, etc.
In 2008 I had bumped into the website aidstruth.org and, while reading it in a "yeah blah blah whatever" kind of attitude, I saw the "denialists who have died" and "who the denialists are" sections. Something clicked. And very soon after I paid one of my usual visits to the Alive and Well site and found the memorial text about Maggiore's death. It didn't mention the cause (of course) so I Googled away thinking "please, let it be a traffic accident or something" and bam! Pneumonia...
I'm now taking antiretrovirals and I am in the middle of chemotherapy and seem to be doing well, but unfortunately I need more biopsies for yet more growths. All of this because I believed a bunch of quacks. Thanks for giving me this chance to help debunk their moronic theories.