To boil it all down, three years ago a child named Eliza Jane Scovill (often called EJ) died tragically three years ago of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia and HIV-associated encephalopathy. The reason is that her mother, Christine Maggiore, was a prominent HIV/AIDS denialist, who, after having been found to be HIV positive back in the early 1990s fell under the sway of Peter Duesberg and came to believe that HIV does not cause AIDS and that therefore she did not need to take antiretroviral drugs. She even went so far as to form an HIV/AIDS denialist/activist group known as Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives. Even worse, she imposed her pseudoscience on her child EJ. Not only did she refuse to take antiretrovirals during her pregnancy to lower the risk of maternal-fetal transmission of the virus, but she refused to have EJ tested for HIV and insisted on breastfeeding her, even though breastfeeding can transmit the virus from mother to child.
After EJ's death, the HIV/AIDS denialist cranks, aided and abetted by their allies in the blogosphere, tried very, very hard to claim that her death was not due to HIV. One in particular, a toxicologist named Dr. Mohammed Al-Bayati, read the autopsy report and tried to blame EJ's death on a reaction to antibiotics and a childhood viral illness, a claim that had no reasonable basis in science or medicine. As a result of my efforts to rebut Dr. Al-Bayati, a representative of Christine Maggiore even tried to suck me into a pseudodebate. It was one of the most bizarre incidents in the history of this blog. Even now I scratch my head when I think about it, wondering just what the heck the HIV/AIDS denialists were thinking when they tried to play me.
Unfortunately, now it appears that Maggiore's belief that HIV doesn't cause AIDS might have caught up with her. I say "might have" because we do not know. The one thing we do know is that she has died of pneumonia at the age of 52