Wednesday, December 10, 2008

How Positive are you?

About Your Hosts

About Christine Maggiore

Christine Maggiore was a successful entrepreneur in international business when she unexpectedly tested HIV positive during a routine medical exam in 1992. Shortly thereafter, she became a very passionate public speaker for several prominent AIDS organizations including AIDS Project Los Angeles, LA Shanti Foundation, and Women at Risk. 

In 1993, at the request of an AIDS specialist, Christine took a new HIV test which led to a series of tests that fluctuated inexplicably between HIV positive, HIV negative and indeterminate. This unsettling experience compelled Christine to take a closer look at the “AIDS awareness” she had been taught to teach as a public speaker. Following a trail of unanswered questions eventually led Christine outside the confines of conventional wisdom and into a body of scientific, medical and epidemiological data that challenged everything she thought she knew about HIV and AIDS.

In 1995, Christine established a monthly public forum in Los Angeles for the discussion of unanswered questions about HIV and AIDS. This effort eventually evolved into Alive & Well, a non-profit education and peer support network that raises questions about the validity of HIV tests, the safety and effectiveness of AIDS drug treatment, and the foundation of most popular beliefs about HIV and AIDS. Alive & Well’s mission is to inspire open dialogue on these subjects and enable people worldwide to make truly informed choices about their life and health.

In 1996, while trying to summarize 10 key questions about AIDS in a simple brochure, Christine created the first edition of her book, “What If Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?” which quickly became an important addition to the international debate on the HIV hypothesis.

Over the next nine years, Christine’s persistent questions and tenacious pursuit of answers aroused both admiration and animosity, evoked invitations to debate and dialogue at various universities and medical schools around the country, and led to countless speaking engagements in a variety of venues ranging from the Rand Corporation to Reverend Al Sharpton’s Action Network and a medical conference in Russia. Her work and life story inspired a number of news segments (CNN, NBC Nightly News, ABC’s 20/20, Court TV,), magazine articles (Newsweek, Mothering, SPIN, GQ, Elle) television episodes (Judging Amy, ER), book reports, dissertations, and documentary films (The Other Side of AIDS, This Child of Mine).

In May of 2005, tragedy struck when Christine’s three year-old daughter, Eliza Jane Scovill, died suddenly and unexpectedly following treatment with an antibiotic for a simple ear infection. Four months later, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office declared Eliza Jane’s death was due to AIDS-related pneumonia. News sources around the world reported on the announcement and followed the drama of a 12-month criminal investigation (see for details) that focused on potential charges of negligent homicide.

Critics of her controversial work celebrated the coroner’s conclusion and openly expressed hope that Christine would be arrested and silenced. Instead, after a year of inquiry, the police investigation was closed with no charges filed, and Christine and her husband filed a civil suit against the LA County coroner’s office for maliciously claiming a cause of death for their daughter that is not supported by biomedical evidence.

Almost 17 years after testing HIV positive, and despite life’s many challenges, Christine continues to enjoy remarkable good health without the use of AIDS treatments or other pharmaceutical interventions. She lives in a suburb of Los Angeles, California with her husband and partner of 12 years, Robin Scovill, a filmmaker and real estate investor, and their son Charlie, age 11, whose interests include studying cello and piano and playing ice hockey.

Christine is currently working on a book about Eliza Jane and the witch hunt inspired by her death while running Alive & Well, working as supervised visitation monitor for family court, and heading up The Shaken Justice Project, an effort that provides legal, medical and peer support to innocent parents and caretakers wrongly accused of crimes after the sudden and unexpected death of a child.

Her interests include spending time with family and friends, cooking, holistic medicine, healing the environment, independent and international films (especially French and Italian), reading, gardening, camping, and daily walks with the two family dogs.

About David Crowe 

David Crowe received an honours degree in biology and mathematics in 1978 from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Canada with a thesis and later publication based on computer analysis of many-dimensional biological data to estimate evolutionary relationships. This research was the first to hypothesize and provide evidence that a species of plant (Bidens connata) was most likely actually a hybrid of two other species.

In the early 1990s, David became interested in the scientific controversy of whether HIV causes AIDS after hearing a CBC radio program by Colman Jones. Knowing about the corruption that exists in science from his experiences as an environmentalist, and also knowing the limits of scientific knowledge, he started a project that would enable him to render an informed decision on the question of HIV. The project–still ongoing–is to read all the major scientific literature on HIV and AIDS.

In 1999, David founded the Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society with the goal of providing science-based information to people around the world in order to enable them to make their own decisions about HIV testing and treatment.

In 2000, David became active in AnotherLook, a research organization established by Marian Tompson, one of the co-founders of La Leche League International in the 1950s. Another Look is dedicated to scientific verification the common view that breastfeeding by HIV-positive women is dangerous. As a member of the advisory board of Another Look, David has contributed to a number of articles and letters on the topic of HIV and breastfeeding that have been published in the medical literature or Another Look’s web site

After reading in the news about the case of Sophie Brassard, a Montreal woman who was losing custody of her children because she refused to give them AIDS drugs, David became concerned with the human rights violations that take place under the banner of HIV prevention. He now works with legal professionals around the world to help prevent or remedy situations in which people are coerced into taking drugs, separated from their children or sent to jail based on unfounded assumptions about the transmission of HIV and the development of AIDS.

After serving three years as a board member of Rethinking AIDS, an international organization of doctors, scientists and journalists who question the HIV=AIDS theory, David was appointed president in 2008. During his tenure as RA president he hopes to make the organization a leader in the provision of uncorrupted scientific information to the media, scientists, politicians and anyone who is interested in whether the HIV hypothesis of AIDS is a fact or a grand illusion.

Dispelling the notion that AIDS rethinkers are political conservatives, David was one of the founders of the Green Party of Alberta in 1990. He is also involved with the Green Party at the federal level.

David has written for a number of national magazines on a multitude of subjects including health, science and technology. He has also provides summaries of AIDS science through categorized lists of thousands of direct quotations from medical journals, government documents, test and treatment manufacturer documents and the popular media. This extensive collection of quotes is referenced by educators, legal professionals and concerned citizens throughout the world and can be found at the web site for Alberta Reappraising AIDS Society and Rethinking AIDS

Married and the father of three, David enjoys cooking, cycling, learning Italian, and the great outdoors. He currently works in the telecommunications industry as a consultant, a position that often requires him to travel to China, India and other areas of the world where AIDS is thought to prevalent. Through his travels David has met people from many countries who question the idea that HIV=AIDS.

In his not so ample spare time, David is writing “The Infectious Myth,” a book that will cover AIDS and other health conditions wrongly blamed on germs.

No comments: