HIV misinformationBMJ 2000; 321 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.321.7263.772 (Published 23 September 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:772
- Gavin Yamey, deputy editor
See p 722
If you telephone the San Francisco office of the HIV campaign group ACT UP, the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power, an answerphone message announces two surprising “facts.” Firstly, “HIV cannot possibly cause AIDS.” Secondly, “AIDS drugs are poison.” The San Francisco group, joined by branches in west Hollywood, Toronto, and Atlanta, is on a crusade to challenge what it sees as the medical establishment's intellectual stranglehold on the AIDS community.
The crusade took on a high profile recently with a flurry of media interest in the author Christine Maggiore. Newsweek called her “The HIV disbeliever.” In her book, What if everything you knew about AIDS was wrong?, she explains that HIV tests are unreliable, that pregnant women who are HIV positive cannot transmit the virus to their babies, and that AIDS is not a global health problem. Maggiore was one of the “HIV dissenters” invited to meet the South African president Thabo Mbeki at this year's Thirteenth International AIDS Conference in Durban. ACT UP San Francisco recently took up her cause, inviting her to a public meeting to discuss “the truth” about AIDS in …