Another AIDS-denialist story will end badly (UPDATE: Tommy Morrison dies)

See update below.
Originally posted Aug 23, 2013

A very tragic story of how denial will kill you. Boxer Tommy Morrison has full-blown AIDS after rejecting his HIV diagnosis.

Merrill: Tommy Morrison’s latest big fight – ESPN.

Holden was the one who broke the news to Morrison that he’d tested positive for HIV in February 1996, hours before he was supposed to fight Arthur “Stormy” Weathers in a tuneup for an eagerly anticipated bout with Mike Tyson. Holden says the man with the Nevada Athletic Commission who informed him of Morrison’s test results had tears in his eyes.

He was 27 years old and had just signed a contract that, according to previous Morrison interviews, guaranteed him three fights and $38 million. And with that test, the guarantees were gone. He called his mother. “Come home,” she told him, then advised him to take another HIV test. That one also was positive.

“Tommy bought into it at first, and then did some research,” Holden said. “And then he went into the direction that he didn’t have it, that it doesn’t exist.”

And so after his tearful news conference, after he confirmed he was HIV-positive and blamed it on a reckless lifestyle, after he promised to get in touch with anyone he’d come in contact with — sparring partners, and especially the young ladies — Morrison did a complete about-face.

Holden said Morrison quickly had a change of heart after doing research on the Internet. He concluded that HIV was a conspiracy, and that the doctors were “quacks.” He said the tests were false positives. He staged a comeback in 2007, tested negative for HIV, but questions swirled over whether the blood was actually his.

AIDS denialism has killed hundreds of thousands of people, plain and simple. This is a tragic addition.

Tip: @JREF on Twitter

UPDATE: (2 Sept 2013) As anticipated, he has died, aged 44.

  8 comments for “Another AIDS-denialist story will end badly (UPDATE: Tommy Morrison dies)

  1. One Eyed Jack
    August 24, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    False positives? Yes, they happen, but that’s why we have confirmatory methods and repeat testing. In our lab all positive HIV screens are confirmed by Western Blot. Any responsible physician will likely order a second test to confirm a previously undiagnosed positive.

    Morrison is stuck in denial.

  2. Karin
    August 24, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    What the devil kinds of sites are out there claiming HIV is a “conspiracy” and “not real”? What about all the deaths? Or do they just mean it’s not real for straight people…(which would base their nonsense partially in homophobia)? I have never been to those corners of the internet but it’s seriously disturbing how readily accessible they apparently are.

  3. August 24, 2013 at 2:48 PM

    There was an interview done with him a few years back where he talks about how he once teleported himself out of a bar when he felt evil in the room. It’s also terrifying for how openly he talks about having unprotected sex and his idea that the KS lesions on his body are mosquito bites.

  4. August 25, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    AIDSTruth, one of the biggest debunkers of HIV/AIDS denialists online, has compiled a partial list of denialists who have died due to HIV/AIDS.


  5. neko
    September 2, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    I hope before his head was inserted in his dark, warm, safe place he found, that he informed all the people his lifestyle and disease put at risk. Well, hopefully at least his fame helped them to figure it out on their own.

    It’s a contagious disease, it goes beyond his personal choices.

    Even if you doubt your diagnosis, it can’t hurt to tell other people what your doctors told you, so they can make up their own minds.

    Or rather than it can’t hurt, it’s your obligation to them.

  6. Cathy
    November 23, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Way more than I knew about !! This subject had never come up to me either until this week. I stumbled upon a facebook group called Rethinking AIDS. I am kind of in shock. It is scary to think about how much this disease could grow because of people being fed wrong info about HIV. I have been working very hard at replying to these posts with the truth behind these lies, to no avail. They are passionate about it. They were told something they wanted to hear and chose to believe it.

  7. December 14, 2013 at 3:30 PM

    I am curious to know why lead HIV Denialists are protected under law – when you read cases such as those of Eliza Jane Scovill, it is hard to understand how there is no culpability (I do understand a practitioner was given a roughly 36 month (!?!) suspension regarding this case) on the part of either infected parents who pass the very real virus to their children or (who are in my opinion) the “cult” leaders who educate sufferers to stop treatment and, more shockingly, continue sexual relationships without protection. Deplorable!

Comments are closed.