Hero Scientists, Cultropreneurs, Living Icons, and Praise-Singers

Nicoli Nattrass

in The AIDS Conspiracy

Published by Columbia University Press

Published in print November 2013 | ISBN: 9780231149136
Published online November 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780231520256 | DOI:
Hero Scientists, Cultropreneurs, Living Icons, and Praise-Singers

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This chapter explores the different aspects of AIDS denialism—the idea that HIV science is wrong and that alternative healing modalities can cure AIDS. Christine Maggiore, the late HIV-positive founder of the organization, Alive and Well, claimed that HIV-positive people must liberate themselves from unfounded fear, avoid toxic antiretroviral drugs, and embrace their natural ability to be well. Analyst Jeremy Youde argues that AIDS denialists can be considered as a counter epistemic community—a counterculture group that grew out of the demand for alternative medicine and the incorporation of new social movements. In addition, the chapter states some reasons why people may be attracted to AIDS denialism. It reinforces the normal psychological processes of denial that people experience when diagnosed with a dread disease, and it accords with a prior distrust of medical science, thereby appealing to people already attracted to alternative medicine.

Keywords: AIDS denialism; Christine Maggiore; Alive and Well; Jeremy Youde; alternative medicine

Chapter.  10339 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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