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The AIDS ConspiracyScience Fights Back$
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Nicoli Nattrass

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780231149136

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231149136.001.0001

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

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

AIDS Denialism as Community

(p.105) 6 Hero Scientists, Cultropreneurs, Living Icons, and Praise-Singers
The AIDS Conspiracy

Nicoli Nattrass

Columbia University Press

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

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