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The way we address HIV is cause for concern by Bradford McIntyre

The truth is that there are millions of people living to whom HIV has not caused illness and death. This information brings joy and hope to the heart of any person who has ever dreaded the onset of AIDS.


Initially, we only saw the deaths of those infected with HIV. Science, medicine and the pharmaceutical companies looked for answers, but fear set the standard that HIV infection was a fatal disease. Many cried out for answers. Pressure led to the release of drugs and the direction was set! High dosages and problems with toxicity played a major role in many of the lives considered plagued with HIV. What has happened is that the pharmaceutical companies have manipulated the shape of AIDS. They provide the medical profession with treatment information and dosages.  As well, they are providing funding and treatment information to the AIDS organizations and in return AIDS organizations are promoting the treatment information provided by the pharmaceutical companies. These drug companies know they have a vulnerable market! Drugs are promoted to combat HIV when the suppliers know that many AIDS drugs may be unsuccessful. Whether it’s over a short or long term, many do fail. HIV strategies evolve and outwit the immune system. Therefore, some individuals are in constant need of new drugs when their drugs fail and resistance develops. The more HIV/AIDS drugs that an individual takes, the greater the risk of drug resistance occurring.
 
Another thing which ensures many individuals choose the drug treatment, is the continual fear promoted by the pharmaceutical companies and the medical profession to influence an individual into believing they will progress to disease and/or die without HIV/AIDS medications. Often, a physician tells patients that those individuals who do use supplements and complementary therapies: “they die!” Individuals voicing anything other than the pharmaceutical company’s ideology of HIV/AIDS and treatments are discredited. This is all too clearly understood by millions of people throughout the world.
Even the media has not told the true story but only conveys the information provided by the pharmaceutical companies. It is the responsibility of the media to investigate and then report! It is important and necessary to recognize the need for voices from all walks of life to be heard, thus helping to create a better understanding.  One of balance!
 
Since the beginning, living with HIV has prompted many to learn about their bodies, to gain understanding of its needs. Large numbers of people have incorporated the knowledge of HIV/AIDS medications, how they work, what they do, dosages to take with or without food, side effects and benefits! Antiretroviral medications deplete many of the micronutrients necessary to keep the body healthy. Without proper nutrition how can anyone be expected to combat HIV or combat the side effects of the HIV/AIDS treatments? Without complementary therapies, patients are at a greater risk of failing drug treatments because they can’t tolerate the side effects. They may decide to discontinue a treatment, which could have proved beneficial, had they been able to overcome the initial side effects. Providing proper nutrition and Complementary therapies can address the immune system and many of the side effects of HIV treatments.
 
There are no shortages of scientists and physicians as well as individuals living with HIV, who have realized another understanding of how HIV and other diseases can be affected. The fact the emphasis on treatment is placed predominantly on medical and pharmaceutical while other methods are not given the same deserving recognition, is in direct conflict with the way in which people infected with HIV have managed their infection!
 
Over half of the people infected with HIV ARE using alternative and complementary therapies. Regardless of HIV infection or not, in the United States alone, for every individual who seeks out medical and pharmaceutical care, three times as many people are seeking out alternative and complementary care. Here in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, where I live, I would say the numbers using alternative and complementary are even higher!  Yet alternative and complementary care is not included in health care!
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HIV has shown us that it is reacting differently from person to person. However, we began by trying to treat everyone infected with HIV alike. Each one of us is physically different with what is happening in our body. In the treatment of any disease, we must be careful not to have tunnel vision, or rely totally upon science, medicine and in particular, pharmaceuticals to maintain our health. The responsibility is ours, not something we pass on for someone or something to fix. There is much we can do in the fight against disease!
 
Many who have been living with HIV (some for two decades now) have no need for antiretroviral treatment because their immune system is strong. Others, who are on HIV medications, have included nutrition and replacement therapy (vitamin supplements, herbs and botanicals). Successfully boosting the immune system and positively addressing the efficacy of drugs and there many side effects. Whether it is being able to avoid treatment entirely, prolong treatment or in conjunction with medical and pharmaceutical treatment, we must recognize the importance of using every available means in the treatment of HIV/AIDS.
 
An integrated health care system is the will of the people! World wide! Governments can include complementary treatment and supplements into health care to benefit those living with disease. Pharmaceuticals are an important part in research and treatment and there is no shortage of work ahead for pharmaceuticals. But, what the pharmaceuticals can’t do is address the need the body has for nutrients.

 
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