October #106 : West Denial Virus - by Lucile Scott

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Table of Contents

Crime no. 69

Who’s Afraid of HU?

Six Nights in Bangkok

Their Patients, Their People

Thar She Blows!

HU Handbook

Top Black MDs

Heartbreak Hotel

Quilt Trip


No PEP Rally


Show & Tell



Pos & Neg

Meth-od Actor

West Denial Virus

Bangkok Big Top


Private Parts

Forbidden Grapefruit

Quick Study: Prostate

Alzheimer’s Drug Does HIV

Body Eclectic: Lungs

Get Flu-ent

If You Knew Sushi


Trip or Treat

Scared Straight

Hitched & Bewitched


Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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October 2004

West Denial Virus

by Lucile Scott

A dissident's film dodges the "other" side

Robin Scovill’s new documentary, The Other Side of AIDS, repackages the debunked HIV-does-not-cause-AIDS debate for a new—and unsuspecting—generation. Spawned in the ’80s by molecular biologist Peter Duesberg, HIV denialism spread, most infamously, to South African prez Thabo Mbkei in time to outrage the 2000 World AIDS confab. But if you’re looking for a rich history of HIV dissidents, you won’t find it here—the inflammatory film comes off as mere propaganda for the movement’s remaining flock.

Scovill—whose wife is arch denialist Christine Maggiore—unrolls this conspiracy theory as robust, timely and true. He disses big pharma (as profiteers whose products are the true killers), blames gay men (as immuno-compromised sex and drug addicts) and ridicules mainstream AIDS docs (for buying the HIV “myth”). Meanwhile, Maggiore pops up with Erin Brockovich–like bravado—lobbying then San Fran mayor Willie Brown and piping up onstage with fellow denialists the Foo Fighters. “Christine’s telling [HIVers] that there is a life-affirming path to consider—not just ‘life as I know it is over,’” Scovill told POZ. And by the end, that path reaches sci-fi proportions, with Kary Mullis, PhD, likening AIDS hysteria to that of demon possession and one young HIVer pleading, “If it’s true [that HIV is harmless], I can live a life free of fear.”

Peer deeper into the Other Side at www.theothersideofaids.com.

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