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Christine Maggiore, prominent HIV skeptic, dead at 52

December 29, 2008 | 12:35 pm

Maggiore Christine Maggiore, a Van Nuys woman who garnered national attention as an outspoken skeptic of the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV,  has died, according to the L.A. County coroner's office.

Maggiore, 52, was founder of Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives, a nonprofit that challenges "common assumptions" about AIDS. Her group's website and toll-free hotline cater to expectant HIV-positive mothers who shun AIDS medications, want to breast-feed their babies and seek to meet others of like mind. She also had written a book on the subject, titled "What if Everything You Thought You Knew About AIDS Was Wrong?"

In 2006, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office decided not to file criminal charges against Maggiore, whose daughter died the year before in  what the county coroner ruled was AIDS-related pneumonia.

Los Angeles police had been investigating whether Maggiore and her husband, Robin Scovill, were negligent in not testing or treating Eliza Jane Scovill for the human immunodeficiency virus before her May 2005 death.

Maggiore had said that she did not take antiviral medications during her pregnancy and that she did not have her daughter tested for the virus after birth.

In a message on the Alive & Well website, Maggiore explained her own story and how she became an activist. "Through Alive & Well and my book, I hope to share vital facts, inspire essential dialogue and give other people who test HIV -positive the chance to consider a destiny that differs from the one we are taught to expect," she wrote.

-- Anna Gorman

More Times coverage on Maggiore:

-- A Mother's Denial, a Daughter's Death

-- HIV skeptic takes story to TV

Photo: www.ejlovetour.com