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I once belonged to that AIDS mainstream and followed the information available on these websites and from my doctors diligently. When I tested “positive”, I took those drugs. It took time for some things to happen along that path that caused me change my mind.
What follows are but a few examples of items that may help explain what encouraged me to start taking a more skeptical look at what the scaremongering AID$ industry was (and is) trying to convince me and others to do.
A review of this week’s list of research into current treatments for so-called HIV infection shows how patients seeking care in their doctor’s office can end up being on a long list of pharmaceutical drugs, mostly to treat the effects of ARVs (antiretroviral drugs).
There is no doubt in my mind that taking so many prescription drugs, even under the care of physicians, was damaging me and my health. Quitting them was one essential step–among several–that I had to take just to recover my wits enough to move forward.
Good health, or improving one’s poor health, also requires attention to what we put into our system and how we maintain it. In my case, it also led me to rethink just about everything I thought I knew about medical care and health.
If my diagnosis of probable early stage HIV-associated dementia in April 2006 was correct, there is no way in hell I would be writing this today. That’s just not how progressive dementia manifests itself, whether it is HAD, or PML (a lovely condition, google it) or Alzheimer’s. It’s progressive… that means it gets worse, not better.
WHAT IS AIDS?
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by a virus (HIV) that destroys the body’s ability to fight infection.
WHAT IS HIV?
HIV is a virus which is the cause of the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
These are words I would never have heard if I were able to hide my HIV status from health care providers. Once they know you are poz, they need not consider any other possible explanations for health problems.
The word virus originally meant toxin or poison in Latin. Knowing that helps me postulate how those kinds of viruses—i.e. toxins and poisons—might play a role in causing poor health in certain groups of people.
These are just examples of the types of alternative healing I have had experience with. There is a whole world of non-allopathic healing methods that are working for many people who can afford them. Because these treatments are not cooked up in a pharmaceutical laboratory where they can be patented and promoted at criminally high prices, and because alternative healers do not have the resources to conduct clinical trials, these kinds of healing are denied coverage, and sometimes denied even when the patient is willing and able to pay.
I may never know which, if any of these things, or combination of things, caused the reversal of the trend of declining CD4 counts. That’s one of the problems with being a single patient experimenting with alternative medicine. This is no controlled trial, let alone a double blind study. Being consistently methodical is not always an option in my life. This information is part of an anecdote, but that shouldn’t mean it is completely useless or meaningless.
Since publishing that post, Kalichman has gone so far as to speculate that one of my living friends is dead, without a single shred of evidence that this is so.
03/10/2011 (Note: This post was republished in December, 2011 issue of Townsend Letter)
The FDA doesn’t call their latest enforcement action against vitamin C—curiously, if not coincidentally, launched during the holiday week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve—a ban. They claim they are just enforcing the law by requiring that ascorbic acid intended for intravenous delivery go through the same New Drug Application (NDA) process as all other approved intravenous solutions have done. More on that process in a second.
It’s not that there aren’t some very good reasons to take a CD4 test result with a grain of salt… there are plenty of them. The problem arises when these known flaws and weaknesses are used to dismiss a serious and well-documented medical condition that is often presaged by the loss of CD4 cells: collapse of the patient’s immune system, followed by infection, often leading to death, if ignored.
Just as there are different manifestations of “AIDS”, there are wide differences between those of us skeptics who carry the designation “HIV-positive”, based on a polyreactive antibody test (my term for us is “Affecteds”). Some of us fit the orthodox “AIDS paradigm” (another favored term in dissident-land), while others defy it completely. Some of us are apparently quite healthy, while others present with a variety of health problems. Too many of us have died.
I don’t plan to take ARVs for the rest of my life. I don’t plan to take them any longer than I feel necessary to achieve an as-yet-undefined point of restoration of laboratory markers. In the early 2000s, I was attracted to the notion that a poz patient might be able to cycle on and off of the drugs. This theory was coming from the AIDS mainstream shortly after combination treatments became popular, and though it didn’t last very long with the orthodox AIDS folks, I have not yet completely dismissed it as a possible option
Like so much of AIDS research, treatment guidelines must be considered with a skeptic’s eye. It is important to be mindful, for example, that the trials used to arrive at these recommendations do not include information about actual progression to disease or death, but are solely concerned with controversial surrogate markers, primarily PCR RNA, or so-called ”viral load”.