surviving “aids” without drugs (updated)

 

UPDATED October 12, 2013:

The roller coaster continues. Five months after quitting the ARVs, my CD4 levels had dropped to the lowest point ever: 76, and 5.4%. I restarted boosted darunavir monotherapy.

UPDATED May 9, 2013:

I quit all HIV-related drugs on May 29, almost exactly one year after re-starting them for the third time since 1998.

UPDATED February 15, 2013:

After nine months of low-dose darunavir monotherapy, I have begun planning my strategy for quitting the ARVs for the third, and I hope, final time.

UPDATED May 23, 2012:

This page was written several years ago and is past due for an update. What is most important to share right now is that I have decided to restart antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), effective today. I explain this difficult decision in this post titled “97”.

I am leaving this page otherwise intact, as there is nothing written here that deserves to be changed. I am immensely grateful for the the last nine years free of ARV drugs, and I do not regret any decision I have made in the past.  I hope to be able to quit the drugs again, and I will continue to post about my experience.

 


 

Despite the fact that I was at or near ground zero of the “HIV” explosion in Kansas City during the 1980s and had been sexually active since puberty, for years I repeatedly tested negative on the ELISA tests. I went to the local testing site every year or so, certain the results would be “positive”… how could they not be… only to heave a sigh of relief when told I was still “negative”.  Eventually I came to believe that I had discovered the elusive secret of “safe sex” and had eliminated all risks… though in hindsight, I really wasn’t being very honest about that even. It was an early lesson about one’s ability to ignore logic and rationality to embrace and believe whatever I was being told by reputable sources and experts.

My gay community and extended family were suddenly being decimated by sickness and death.  Early on I had heard and read information challenging the emerging hypothesis about a virus as the cause of this disease.  As a budding gay reporter, I recall asking a national leader, Martin Delaney of Project Inform, at the time about the dissident position when he spoke at a forum in KC.  I was the only one to raise the issue then, and was shot down with a withering, cursory response that made it clear that no further discussion would even be tolerated. Here was one of the heroes I had come to rely on during this time of crisis, so I took my cue, and my stand on the side of orthodoxy and demanded that “the system” respond ever more quickly.

I know within a matter of weeks when I seroconverted, according to the tests.  I had tested negative on August 24, 1998, a couple of months before enrolling in the first clinical trial for an experimental AIDS vaccine. During the enrollment process I was tested again on December 8, 1998 and that result was “positive”. Despite all the previous trial runs and dress rehearsals with HIV testing, I was devastated.

I immediately began ARV therapy—the “anti-AIDS” drug cocktails—using a combination of Viracept, Epivir and Zerit.  Those were the days of “hit it hard, hit it early”.  I already knew enough to declare that AZT would never enter my body.  What I didn’t know was that two of the prescribed drugs I did take are close relatives.  That was when my health began to decline dramatically.

Within a few months, even though my cd4 count went up and viral load dropped to undetectable, I was also sicker than I’d ever been before. Diarrhea, nausea, headache… the usual list. The drugs’ effects were intolerable, despite the numerous additional drugs prescribed to treat them. Fifteen months later, I told my doctor I wanted to stop the ARV drugs. She told me she “would not allow that”… because there was too much we still didn’t know about this virus to risk it. That seemed like very odd reasoning then and only more so now. There was too much we didn’t know about the drugs, too.

That was the last visit to that doctor’s office… a pattern that was to become the norm for nearly ten years, rather than the exception, until I eventually had no “primary” care doctor at all.

The notion of “drug vacations” and “intermittent treatment” were the very faintest whispers in 2000, but I was hearing them nonetheless. I even traveled to SF and consulted with Project Inform. They, like my doctor, counseled stridently against me stopping the cocktail… though after an hour or two of discussion and a review of my medical history (which showed no opportunistic infections or other HIV-associated illnesses) even they seemed to soften a bit.

I found another doctor, a HIV specialist who told me he could “give me a half-dozen reasons to stay on them and a half-dozen to quit”, let me make my own decision and offered to monitor me.  I thought I’d found God! Not only was he a “specialist”, but his practice emphasized a “whole”istic approach that included nutrition, physical and mental fitness. There was even a workout gym on premises at his clinic!

The first couple of months after stopping the cocktail were quite frightening. My cd4 count dropped and the viral load measurements soared at first. Then the unexpected happened. Both numbers began to “normalize”… at least according to the AIDS hypothesis. For two years my VL averaged about 10K, and my cd4 remained at or above 400, and usually above 500. I was being tested every month.

Other health problems developed or worsened, however. My sense of balance was compromised; I complained of my head “swimming”; severe fatigue; loss of appetite… the list is a long one.

One of the earliest diagnoses was adrenal insufficiency, which I’ve since learned is nearly epidemic in the US, especially among those with jobs in the corporate sector, due to stress. I was also referred to a psychiatrist for depression–dual depression, no less, and ultimately acquired additional diagnoses, and drug prescriptions for anxiety/panic disorder and ADD.

These conditions were treated with powerful and potentially dangerous prescription drugs, such as prednisone and addictive psychotropics.  When I protested the side effects, I was prescribed even more medications.

My belief system was still grounded in the notion that I was infected with a pathogen that would ultimately destroy my health.  When I quit the ARV cocktail, I expected that I would have to take it again. The unknown at the time was how long I could go without it. My personal theory/hope was that each time I cycled on and off of HAART, my body would develop its own immunity to “the virus” and I would be able to go longer without the drugs. At the time this theory seemed plausible… to some folks anyway.

It took two years before my cd4 count dropped to below 200, and my VL was bouncing like a ball, up to 40K on one test, and a few months later one single lab came back above 20K. I recall feeling a sense of desperation… of inevitability.

Once again I hopped onto the cocktail wagon in July 2002, replacing Viracept (aka Virashit) with Viread. Once again my VL plummeted to “undetectable” and cd4 improved, though that count has never again been much higher than 400-500. And once again I got terribly sick from the side effects and almost immediately feared I had made a terrible mistake by taking them again.

I believe that my body was getting tired of trying to get my attention. It had been trying to tell me how it was doing and what it needed from me, but I hadn’t been listening. This may have been a significant turning point in what ultimately changed the way I perceive that condition we call health.

I quit the cocktail the second, and final time about eight months later in March 2003. This time I anticipated what would happen. As I had come to expect, my cd4 counts dropped precipitously and my VL shot up… almost as high as it had ever been since the first tests… for a whole month. I gritted my teeth and waited. This is undoubtedly the point where so many poz folk who attempt to stop their ARV cocktail drop the ball.

Watching the very numbers that we’ve been taught are the end-all/be-all markers of our disease state take off can be exceedingly unnerving. There are, however, explanations for erratic changes in these markers that make more sense than that proffered by the AIDS establishment which can support a decision to terminate HAART.

Regardless, the numbers stabilized… again. I can provide a chart of all my labs for the past ten years or so… but what difference would that make? Anyone can create an Excel spreadsheet.

What I share here isn’t to be proved or disproved. It can only be believed or disbelieved… or maybe just skeptically accepted, which is undoubtedly a wiser compromise than simply believing, anyway.

So… how has my health been? I continue to experience a lot of fatigue and weakness as well as intermittent bouts of depression, a problem I had before testing poz.  In fact all of my symptoms can be explained without blaming “HIV”.  I’ve been diagnosed with multiple endocrine deficiencies. I am hypopituitary; hypothyroid; hypogonadal and have adrenal insufficiency. I have no way of knowing if these conditions predated my alleged seroconversion, or perhaps even created the conditions that triggered a positive test result.

Looking back, it’s easy to see that several years of incapacitating health problems were as likely explained by the the massive amounts of doctor-prescribed drugs, not the supposed “HIV”.

By 2006 I was taking 28 prescription drugs for all my different diagnoses, even though I was taking zero ARVs. Three of these drugs were Class III controlled substances; four of them were injectables; total cost to my insurance company was over $14,000.  Not included in that cost was human growth hormone, supplied to me under compassionate use, nor IVIG, which was covered under a different insurance plan.  I understand that the cost of those probably exceeded another $1,000 per month.

I was taking one or more each of psychotropic; hormone, steroid, amphetamine, benzoid, antibiotic, antifungal, antidiarrheal, antidepressant, and more. I told my family that if I didn’t have prescriptions and insurance I’d be called a drug addict, and that they would have to talk to me through a very thick plastic window.

The medical complications that I have had that required hospitalization, or other serious treatment include osteoporosis; seizures; neurological problems; a DVT and MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph)… all of which were caused by other medical treatments or drugs. I have also been to the emergency room for sprained ankles, malaise, fatigue and serious injuries, such as cutting my thumb on a table saw, all the result of being so doped up. For years I required the use of a walking stick to help me remain upright and I avoided public places because of the bright lights, noise and crowds.

Though I have never been diagnosed or treated for an “AIDS-defining” disease, my condition does meet the definition of AIDS because my cd4 count was below 200 (twice in eight years).

There was an MRI taken in March, 2006 that showed inflammation in my brain… diagnosed at the time as likely early stage HIV-related dementia.  More likely, the inflammation was probably psychotropic drug-induced, as subsequent neuro-psych testing has since ruled out any possible dementia since I’ve quit those drugs.

The DVT blood clot I experienced six months later in September, 2006 was another major defining moment in the evolution of my beliefs about health. It was a sudden, unexpected and very frightening event. It was an immediately life-threatening event. And the doctor’s prescription? Rat Poison!

I researched the Internet and stumbled upon information about nattokinase, a proteolytic enzyme that “eats” dead or diseased tissue, and which is especially fond of blood clots. Natto was developed in Japan, where it is commonly used for a variety of ailments. Even though weeks of treatment with Coumadin/warfarin/d-Con failed to clear the blood clot, the enzymes managed to do so in less than two weeks! I have the MRI to prove it. And another doctor bites the dust.

Early in 2007 I took off for warmer climates to contemplate my situation. The phenomenal success of an “alternative” treatment against the DVT was only the latest experience to make me stop and think about what I believed about medical care. I was reading more information about the various “dissident” positions on health, illness and AIDS. I remembered that these alternative explanations had been around since the ’80s, but that I had dismissed at that time, convinced by the “overwhelming evidence” that HIV causes AIDS and that AIDS destroys t-cells, and that’s why all my friends were dead or dying. Had I made a mistake believing the experts and scientists?

When I finally listened to what my body had been trying to tell me, I realized that the drugs I was taking were the cause of my illness! My mind had been wrecked. Doctors and the medical establishment had not only tried to coerce me to take toxic ARVs, but I had been prescribed dozens of potent drugs at the same time, many of them with serious side effects of their own, few of them studied for interactions in such combinations.

Supplementing essential hormones with synthetics was sending my body a message that it no longer needed to produce them for itself and those organs became lazy and atrophied.

Monthly sessions of IVIG, an intravenous infusion of components filtered from blood donations of thousands of people, many of them IV drug abusers was infusing my system with untold quantities of foreign particles that were added stressors to my already overwhelmed immune system.

Every complaint… every symptom I reported to any doctor was presumed to be the result of my so-called HIV infection. Once that “cause” was determined, there was no need to search further. Duly noted in my medical records was the family history of autoimmune dysfunction:    dad’s myelofibrosis and Reynaud’s syndrome, my brother’s diagnosis of fibromyalgia and my mom’s hypothyroidism and chronic depression. I questioned whether much of what I’m dealing with is the result of some genetic predisposition to autoimmune deficiency. Add some damage from the medical care I’ve received, a history of substance abuse, childhood exposure to pesticides such as Atrazine; living in an increasingly toxic world with diminished nutritional value in our food supply and… tada… maybe I have my answer. The answer to why things are the way they are… not necessarily the answer to what to do about it all.

After spending five warm, sunny winter weeks on the Gulf coast, I sought the advice of an alternative practitioner. A doctor who had taken up non-traditional methods following her own near-death experience from an auto accident, she was also trained as an osteopathic doctor, an added benefit I’ve always appreciated when dealing with allopathic doctors.

We embarked on an overhaul of my regimen, keeping only the best parts that worked. I tapered off the worst drugs (Adderall, klonopin, antidepressant, etc.) and then quit ALL my prescription drugs in March and April of 2007. I began taking lots of nutritional supplements and herbs, under the direction of a pharmacist/nutritionist at the same practice as the doctor I was seeing. I even went so far as having IV nutrients, though I found it odd that I would do such a thing, given my aversion for sticking any more needles into my body.

I changed my diet even more than I already had previously. I quit all dairy products (that is hard to do!) I tried (still do) to eat only organic foods, and drove 70 miles to purchase grass fed meats at an area locker.

Man… I soared. I had so much energy that sleep became problematic. I was writing ecstatic letters to my family and friends. Once again, I had “discovered” the secret to health, vitality and long life and it was imperative that everyone else know about it.

There were/are many other things I have undertaken over the years to improve my sense of well-being… my health.

I quit smoking cigarettes on my father’s birthday in 2001, about a year after he had died after a protracted illness at home. Of course I’d quit many times before that, but this time it has stuck. When others talk to me about their interest in better health, and whether they should take this vitamin or that herb, I am a bit of an old fuck when I tell them that as long as they are smoking cigarettes, or drinking two liters of soda each day that they may as well save their money on supplements.

I also gave up all alcohol for about a year, though I have recently begun to enjoy a glass or two of red wine with dinner a few times a week.

I pursued a wide range of so-called “alternative” care in an attempt to address my health from as many different directions as possible, without the introduction of foreign or toxic substances.

A Native American shamanic hypnotherapist (try finding one of those in your insurance provider directory!), RedCrow taught me how to use self-hypnosis to help me direct my subconscious.

Acupuncture, massage (mmm…) and biofeedback for various conditions—neurological problems in particular proved to be beneficial… without the unwanted side effects of the drugs.

I experimented with  “zapping”… using a wavelength generator to kill pathogens and parasites in my body. I was unable to validate its effectiveness to recommend it to anyone else, but at least it caused no harm.

Indeed, most of the therapies I mention above are unlikely to be helpful to anyone who refuses to “believe” that they might be. In just such a manner, I would suggest, does mainstream western medicine work… or not work.  The pharmaceutical industry runs a huge mass-hypnosis campaign to impart a belief in their products that is hard to find in objective reviews of their research.

I sincerely believe that if I had been on HAART the past ten years I would not be here to write this message (that doesn’t make it so… it’s just what I believe). On the other hand, my friend Brad has been positive for more than 20 years and he has been on the cocktails since they came out and seems much healthier than me.

I continue to hope as I strive for improvements. I make myself get out for bike rides if the weather is nice. Currently, I want to make changes in my social life… or lack thereof. I’ve become something of an introvert and hermit. I used to really enjoy meeting with and visiting other people and I want to regain some of that.

What matters most is that a person do something… whatever they trust and believe in. Those who listen to the death doctors and believe that they are going to die will do exactly that.

What I hear from so many is that they do not trust the drugs and that they want to believe they can live without them. If you are one of those people, I simply share my story to let you know that is not an unreasonable thing to believe.

Living Without HIV Drugs
Read others’ stories at livingwithouthivdrugs.com

  31 Responses to “surviving “aids” without drugs (updated)”

  1.  

    You write well about HIV/AIDS but I wish you’d leave Change alone. Please tell me you’re no Log Cab Republican.

    Barf.

  2.  

    Hi, interesting story. What does your friend Brad think about all this HIV/AIDS dissidence?

    And could you briefly describe what that self-hypnosis you learned from RedCrow was like? I got a little experience with western self-hypnosis, is it any different or only more “shamanic”?

    •  

      Sadun Kal,
      Those are both very difficult questions to answer briefly but I will consider them for topics of future writing, as I think they do deserve more discussion. Thanks for commenting and for sharing your site. I’ve added it to my blogroll.

  3.  

    The Hiv Eradication article pubblished by prof. Yamamoto on January 2009 on the scientific Journal Medical Virology, has had little feedback…better say, no feedback at all even by the national and international press too.
    This fact is very strange!
    Only some associations have posted the news on their home-pages but the news has dropped away without any feedback.
    Some Hiv+ people have activated a series of initiatives to contact the directors of the JMV, responsable of the publication.
    The publication of Prof. Yamamoto is rich of significant data and descriptive tables about the research and are of a big impact.
    The directors of the magazine, Prof. Zuckerman and Prof. Mahny have answered to the questions, guaranteeing the validaty of the data, eventhough in an elusory way, but at the same time threatening to sue us without any reason. The questions were legitimate and politely done!
    Is it possible that nobody wants to comment this article of such a big impact!?
    Anyway it has been prepared the following e-mail and sent to the most prestigious agencies.

    Dear director of Aids Operative Centre.
    more than 4 months ago has been possible to notice the publishing, on the scientific Jornal Medical Virology, an article on HIV eradication by Prof. Yamamoto, explaining the way he obtained the Hiv eradication in only 18 weeks by injecting, weekly, 100ng GcMAF, an activating factor of macrophages obtained by the Gc Protein. This is shown by a fully successfull experiment, done in 2002 on 15 assintomatic Hiv+ patients and non anemic one; these patients have been healthy without having a viral feedback (HIV-RNA, HIV-DNA) and immune alterations such as CD4, CD8 and their percentage absolutely normal) in more than seven years (J. Med. Virol. 81:16-26, 2009).

    We have been trying to inquire with the help of the associations, specialists and even embassys without having a feedback, particularly:
    1 – [authorised ethic committees]
    2 – [centres and patients]
    3 – [contacts with the authors]
    4 – [contacts with the directors of JMV]
    ….

    Now, since the issue continues to cause serious disturbance among all the Hiv+, and we are not in the best possible conditions, we ask to You and to Your Institution, authority of national importance, to clear up the points above, in order to ascertain whether we are faced with a falsely clamorous scientific discovery or a true one.
    Certainly we would like to see confirmed the latter one. We are convinced that you would put under exam the GcMAF, a low-cost molecule and of an easy preparation, for further clinical trial in case of the results of Prof Yamamoto would be authentic. This would represent the salvation of millions of Hiv+ people all over the world.
    Dispite the disappointment in case the trial is not true, we are greatful to You for having provided to us an answer.
    Hopefully in an acceptance of our request, we thank and cordially greet.

    An Hiv+ patient.

  4.  

    Immunotherapy of HIV-infected patients with Gc protein-derived macrophage activating factor (GcMAF).Yamamoto N, Ushijima N, Koga Y.
    Division of Molecular Immunology and Immunotherapy, Socrates Institute for Therapeutic Immunology, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19126-3305, USA. nobutoyama@verizon.net

    Serum Gc protein (known as vitamin D3-binding protein) is the precursor for the principal macrophage activating factor (MAF). The MAF precursor activity of serum Gc protein of HIV-infected patients was lost or reduced because Gc protein is deglycosylated by alpha-N-acetylgalactosaminidase (Nagalase) secreted from HIV-infected cells. Therefore, macrophages of HIV-infected patients having deglycosylated Gc protein cannot be activated, leading to immunosuppression. Since Nagalase is the intrinsic component of the envelope protein gp120, serum Nagalase activity is the sum of enzyme activities carried by both HIV virions and envelope proteins. These Nagalase carriers were already complexed with anti-HIV immunoglobulin G (IgG) but retained Nagalase activity that is required for infectivity. Stepwise treatment of purified Gc protein with immobilized beta-galactosidase and sialidase generated the most potent macrophage activating factor (termed GcMAF), which produces no side effects in humans. Macrophages activated by administration of 100 ng GcMAF develop a large amount of Fc-receptors as well as an enormous variation of receptors that recognize IgG-bound and unbound HIV virions. Since latently HIV-infected cells are unstable and constantly release HIV virions, the activated macrophages rapidly intercept the released HIV virions to prevent reinfection resulting in exhaustion of infected cells. After less than 18 weekly administrations of 100 ng GcMAF for nonanemic patients, they exhibited low serum Nagalase activities equivalent to healthy controls, indicating eradication of HIV-infection, which was also confirmed by no infectious center formation by provirus inducing agent-treated patient PBMCs. No recurrence occurred and their healthy CD + cell counts were maintained for 7 years.

    PMID: 19031451 [PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19031451

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/121531612/PDFSTART?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0

  5.  

    Thanks Jon. Miss seeing you. Interesting story and will have to tell you mine. I’m assuming the doc was Lee. Let me know. I wish I could have talked to you about this years ago but I went underground with it. Because of the stigma.

    •  

      No, it was not Dr. Lee. I think she might have been more open-minded, but who knows? I’d like to talk to you more and will email you. Thanks for commenting.

  6.  

    i know haart stands for highly active antiritrovial therapy but i want to say the abbreviated word must be hurt and mean nothing but hurt.

    the haart hurts humanity

  7.  

    I have been taking meds since cero conversion. No problems so far and feeling 100% healthy

    •  

      Mike,
      Congratulations. Though you don’t say how long you’ve been on ARVs. I mention my friend Brad, who has been on nearly every drug ever developed and is still alive and well after more than 20 years of diagnosis. Healthy people can no doubt tolerate the side effects longer than those with a lot of health problems, and your experience does show that there is no single “correct” answer to the question about starting HAART.

  8.  

    What in the sam heck were you thinking to do the first clinical trial for an experimental AIDS vaccine? Do you recall the drug maker? The year? location? One shot? two? USA sponsored? Probably can’t sue them for all you had to sign. I am surprised you don’t just come out and say the vaccine caused your hiv. Have you ever thought of being re-tested? The western blot is much more accurate these days? Oh, and I hope you are indeed a Republican but will still wish u good tidings if you are not!

    •  

      I’ve updated this post to say “a couple of months before enrolling in the first clinical trial for an experimental AIDS vaccine”, rather than “being accepted into” the trial. Sorry that I wasn’t very clear. I was never actually given any vaccine, because of the “positive” test result.

      Thanks for helping me improve this post though.

      I used to be a fervent believer in the orthodox views on AIDS, despite a lot of it not being very logical in hind site.

      As for being a Republican… I’m not sure what that has to do with anything, let alone how you might draw that conclusion. We had the first Obama sign on the block! 🙂

  9.  

    Wishing you good health even if you are a Democrat! One of the comments in another post mentioned it was all. I was just thinking that the recent H1N1 vaccine Pandemrix tho not approved in the US can give a false positive for HIV and was hoping that in your case maybe you should be retested. Under Pres O’s heathcare reform it will probably be free, we say with a bit of satire…. but seriously Merry Christmas or whatever u happen to believe or not believe.

  10.  

    Thank you for sharing your story. It will inspire and awaken many people who are sitting at the edge of indecision. There is always encouragement to see the “doctor” but it is more rare to be encouraged to “find your own path to healing”. When we find our own way I do believe we are more invested in our health. This may also be why your friend who has been on the drugs for 20 years is still healthy. He found “his way” in the western medical model and it is working for him. One model does not fit all and many on that western medical model have had “great numbers” but then kidney failure or liver failure do to the toxic nature of drugs.

    It is not your path Jonathan, not at this point in time, to take those meds and perhaps you will never have too. I hold that wish for you and I hold that wish for me. Thank you for being a beautiful light that allows people to see that the path to healing is not one road but many roads as individual as we are. You have given me one more reason to believe that there is a way through this without drugs. That good nutrition, good supplementation, and “belief” in good outcomes are as powerful, if not more so, than chemically derived highly priced drugs.

    To quote the last line in Invictus “…I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul”. I love that line. I take it to heart.

    Thank you Jonathan!

    Thank you

    Jason

  11.  

    Hi Uncle Jon!

    I loved your story and remember you going through a lot of that. How amazing you are! You have been through a lot. Hopefully you will teach others about AIDS. Hopefully this is found by the right people and helps others lives too. I love you and think of you often!
    Love,
    Lisa

    •  

      Good to see you here, Lisa. I remember the “talks” I used to have with my nephews and nieces as kids years ago. I’m grateful that as adults, all of you have also become my friends. I love you, too.

  12.  

    I can tell a similar story of how I healed from hypoglycemia with nutrition, massage, and other holistic choices. I was in my early thirties, have not touch the slightest medical drug since. I am persuaded I’d be on insulin or psychoactive drugs or both by this time if I hadn’t made those decisions then. My luck was that I only had emergency health insurance, and so I had to choose the least expensive way: the way that required my active cooperation and exercise in listening to my body and the messages it was giving me. When my hypoglycemia crises happened I was also in a life crisis marked by excessive stress due to conflicting choices.
    These stories are told in my memoir, Eros: A Journey of Multiple Loves. The theory of what constitutes health in holistic terms is in Gaia and the New Politics of Love.
    Thanks for sharing your story.
    Namaste,
    Serena

  13.  

    Wow…Very hard struggle that you’ve been through. I wonder how your friend Brad came out so healthy. I’m glad you’re here to tell your story. Stay strong!

  14.  

    Well said! You present your history with an objectivity that provides a unique perspective to the dissident voice. Bravo. As for your friend who remains on HAART and is healthier than you, I strongly believe we are all created with differing constitutions which determine how vulnerable we are to further stress in life. Some drug abusers are ‘cockroaches’ while other health-obsessed individuals are incredibly fragile.

    I’ve been ‘poz’ for almost ten years and have been sinking my teeth into every bit of dissident information out there. Thank you for your website/blogging. It is a succinctly organized collection of valuable reading.

    Since sero-conversion, I have never taken meds nor do I submit to routine blood work. This is how I have taken back power from the establishment. That doesn’t mean it’s easy. The fight is constant and I often find that I must censor myself either from allopathic HIV overload or from speaking too passionately about the dissident movement. Although I have been exposed minimally to any ‘AIDS deaths’, I have watched an ex-partner become paralyzed with fear into a state of mental regression, and now watch friends and loved ones accept HAART while they pretend I don’t exist in any discussion about their medical protocols. It is a sad state of isolation and hypocracy.

    I have personally assessed that the frequency of illness rises in response to substance abuse and have proven to myself that a lifestyle with minimal exposure to man-made chemicals including pharmaceuticals makes the biggest difference to my health. Sleep, exercise and diet are also important, especially the consumption of foods that result in a slightly alkaline body pH. This represents the normal state for the human body and the state in which their is no extra energy expended to re-establish alkalinity. If I were to offer advise… this would be it!

  15.  

    Thank you for sharing your story. I wish you all the best.

  16.  

    Am I missing something here?  Somehow I was searching for information regarding protocol for cancer and LDNaltrexone and before I know it I’m on this site.   Reading really disgusting comments from this DeShong character.   Have I missed something, have you not sought out LDNaltrexone?  Dr. Berkson of New Mexico treats HIV/Aids patients with LowDoseNaltrexone.  The testimonies I have read are amazing.  Just wondering.

    •  

      It’s nice to know the search engines are leading people to this blog.
      There are lots of posts, covering a variety of information. Low dose
      naltrexone (LDN) is just one of the experimental treatments I’ve tried.
      I recently ran out of LDN, but will probably be re-ordering. I haven’t
      written too much about it, because it is so difficult to know what is
      actually “working”, but I think LDN has great potential for helping to
      re-balance an out-of-whack immune system.

      As a friend recently said: “when you are turning too many knobs at
      once, it’s hard to know which one is actually having a desired effect.”

      Given the recent rebound in my mood and energy, I’m pretty convinced
      that either the IV vitamin C and/or the LDN are at least partially
      responsible. I’ve eliminated most other supplements for at least a
      couple of months, adding them back into my regimen if I find that I need
      them. For example, nighttime urinary frequency increased shortly after
      I stopped taking the saw palmetto, so I’ve started taking it again.

  17.  

    Fantastic! So great to see more brave people sharing their stories@0dca08fe0bb46b8f985b78f3c5f4918e:disqus
    My partner has just come off his ARVs too and I am treating him at home holistically using spirulina, maca, Siberian Ginseng, organic veg juices and whole foods. He looks amazing and feels so much better than he did when he was on the ARVs. The world is slowly waking up to the awful reality that is modern ‘healthcare’.

    Blessings.

    SG

  18.  

    Thanks for this moving story. I was looking for someone to tell me about quitting HAART I have done so on March 30th after 18 years of taking the treatment. I believe that you are right about the adrenal issue, I came to that conclusion too and taking sufur (drops) with iodine, G5 and Nano Zeolite, a natural treatment to cleanse the liver and rebalance the endocrine system, it’s done a lot of good. Yet I sleep a lot, my sleeping patterns have gone back to what they used to be when I was a teenager but I feel tired in the day. Maybe this is due to the body recovering or getting rid of the dirt of past treatments. Yesterday my back and legs were aching which is unusual so I started doubting. My doctor doesn’t know that I quit my treatment, I wonder how i will tell her, I saw her beginning of April, she felt that I wasn’t acting as usual as she kept asking me “Are you ok?” but I had to pretend that nothing had changed, I want to experience life free of ART because I believe that this virus is a lie. Thanks so much for your article which is very moving but which gives hope to all those of us taking the wise decision to live free.

  19.  

    Джонатан, спасибо за Вашу историю. У вас есть новости, которыми вы могли бы поделиться ?

    (Note: translation from Russian, courtesy of Google Translate below)

    Jonathan, thank you for your story. Do you have news that you could share?

  20.  

    Now we are in 2015…what happened since your last post?

    •  

      Thanks for asking, Sascha. I’m doing well enough and will try to post an update soon. I continue to take reduced dose ARVs, if that’s what you’re wanting to know.

  21.  

    I hope your health continues to improve and you will post an update. Sorry to see the dispute with David Crowe. It’s become nearly impossible to discuss the issues surrounding drug or no-drug treatments for HIV\AIDS. Open debates that focus on the issues, look at them from different angles can benefit everyone by allowing us to see and explore new information and possibilities. Best to you in your recovery.

  22.  

    Interesting story and motivating. I have never taken meds ever since I have been pos. I sti don’t want to any help in treating my dirhea and nausea. Thanks

    S
    South Africa

  23.  

    No more update last 4 years?
    Are you doing well ???

    •  

      Thanks for asking, Fathe. I’m not sure what you mean by “well.” I am currently taking a fairly standard dose of ARVs: darunavir, a protease inhibitor (boosted with ritonavir), and dolutegravir, an integrase inhibitor. I have achieved “undetectable” PCR viral load, but have not been able to maintain it, thought that marker remains extremely low. I’ve reversed the decline in my CD count, but any increase in that marker seems to have stalled out around 200. In the United States I am considered “full blown AIDS.”

      Surprisingly (to some), I have had yet to experience any AIDS-defining opportunistic infections. No pneumocystis pneumonia. No Kaposi Sarcoma. Based on blood tests, I am the picture of health.

      HOWEVER, in the last year or two, I have had to have two interventions to remove kidney stones. No explanation for the cause, other than I’m a “stoner,” a person who forms kidney stones for no apparent reason.

      I believe I have had more DVT blood clots, based on symptoms, but I do not have them confirmed or evaluated. I know the drill, and I deal with them at home. My left leg looks like chopped liver, and most nights I am awakened every two hours with leg cramps. I’ve been up since 3 am today, soaked in a bath with Epsom salts, and can’t go back to slept from the dread of another cramp.

      I’m due for total hip replacement Aug 7. I’ve been disabled with pain in that hip for over a year, but have been very involved in a remodeling project that is crucial to our retirement security. I’ve bought time by getting x-ray guided steroid injections every three months. They always worked to relieve much of my discomfort… until last month. The last injection had no effect at all. I am now dealing with disabling pain in my left hip. The pain never sleeps, so I rarely do either. Pain medications, including cannabis, help me manage the pain, but those don’t seem to be working very well these days, either.

      The drug that seems most useful in numbing the pain is alcohol. Kentucky bourbon, to be specific. Legal and available, but not approved medical use and not covered by insurance.

      If there is one drug I dread more than ARVs, it’s alcohol. I fear I will lose myself in an addiction that will be hard to break, even for me.

      There. I hope I’ve addressed your question. I am not well. I have never been well. I still do not see the correlation between HIV and my health; only a correlation in increased medical problems when I am taking the ARVs.

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