By Lee Christie
AIDS (Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) caused by HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a pandemic recognised by the World Health Organisation. There have been more than 46 million AIDS-related deaths since the disease was first recognised.
HIV/AIDS Denialism (HAD) is the rejection of either the existence of AIDS or HIV, or the denial that HIV causes AIDS. HIV/AIDS deniers have made claims such that AIDS is misidentified, or even a conspiracy, and that antiretroviral treatment for the disease is poison. Deniers who are unfortunate enough to be infected will tend to forgo treatment, which has led to many deaths. WhatsTheHarm.net has a page which lists some deaths related to HIV/AIDS denial.
Maria Papagiannidou, author of the book “Goodbye AIDS! Did it ever exist?”, and ‘former’ AIDS patient, has become one of the latest victims of HIV/AIDS Denialism, passing away on 15th April. HIV/AIDS denial is not particularly widespread, at least in the developed world, but it is important to note that the dangerous and anti-scientific disinformation spread by Papagiannidou through her book, webpages, and TV appearances, may be responsible for the deaths of others.
AIDS kills, and AIDS denial kills. One can hope that Maria’s fans and followers will view this as a wake-up call, and not choose to bury their heads deeper in denial.