Director's Statement

In 1986, I first learned about AIDS in my high school current events class. Quoting from Time magazine, our teacher read to us that AIDS was caused by a virus, that it was sexually transmitted, and that everyone was at equal risk. Cut to ten years later in Los Angeles when my friend Tom X told me about a woman he knew who had been challenging the idea that HIV was the cause of AIDS. I automatically dismissed her. . .And then I read her book.

The book was entitled “What if Everything You Thought You knew about AIDS was Wrong?” In it, the author Christine Maggiore made a compelling scientific case that much of what I had been taught about HIV and AIDS was based on assumptions and unfounded claims. It wasn’t so much her thesis and impeccable research that hooked me but rather her brief explanation of why she had started raising these challenges.

Christine herself had tested positive in 1992 and was told she was going to die. After the initial shock and shame of such a profound revelation, she began the search to find a doctor she felt could help her make the graceful transition toward death.

With each AIDS expert she interviewed, Christine received disturbingly conflicting opinions. What bothered and confused her most however, was the certainty with which each of these opinions were conveyed – who or what should she believe?

Meanwhile, Christine who desired to help other people avoid what had happened to her, became a public speaker and AIDS awareness educator for several prominent AIDS organizations in Los Angeles. She traveled around the country warning thousands of the threat of AIDS. She then stumbled upon information that changed her life. . .

A highly decorated researcher at the University of California at Berkeley was on record as saying that HIV couldn’t possibly be the cause of AIDS. While Christine’s reaction at the time was similar to how I first reacted to this information, she decided to look closer rather than reject it outright. What began was an exhaustive journey that introduced her to many hundreds of highly respected doctors and scientists around the world who took similar positions about HIV’s questionable causal role in AIDS.  This outside-the-mainstream thinking toward HIV and AIDS not only led to an early incarnation of her book, but it also led to her being ousted from her board positions and speaking engagements for asking unpopular questions aloud.

Today, thanks to her exhaustive research and the work of so many before her, Christine Maggiore is not only the founder of Alive & Well AIDS Alternatives, a global non-profit organization reaching thousands with its life affirming message, she’s also my wife, and the mother of our two vibrantly healthy children, Charlie (7 years old) and Eliza Jane (3 years old). More than twelve years after Christine’s diagnosis, my wife is perfectly healthy without following doctors orders. As a father and a husband, I feel blessed. As a filmmaker, I feel driven to tell this story.

I made this film because I thought it was important that people be introduced to a point of view that is often dismissed and vilified in the media.  I also made it so that the public could meet for themselves the growing movement of doctors, scientists and HIV positives furthering this point of view. My agenda is simple: to encourage people to take a closer look and make up their own minds. AIDS is something that affects all our lives and shapes our world view – we are inundated with the darkness of its message. This film seeks to illuminate another side of AIDS, a side that leads to empowerment, health, and ultimately life.

Thank you for watching with an open mind.

Robin Scovill
Los Angeles, 2004