by Bradford McIntyre
Westender, Vancouver's Urban Voice
March 12, 1998.
In regards to "AIDS activists want drugs
fast tracked" (March 5): Those individuals who are not on any
antiviral treatment, for whatever the reasons, have been combating
HIV infection with nutritional diet, exercise and supplements,
including alternative/complementary therapies used with or without
Many people are developing resistance to combination
therapies and protease inhibitors with known figures of drug failure
at 35-50 per cent and climbing. Many suffer toxic side effects
or develop resistance to drugs. For many it is not until there
are no medical resources left, that they then look to see what
else can be done.
Much can be done and more importantly many are
not aware that HIV infection does not mean a death sentence. The
fear associated with HIV, and the fact the medical profession
continues to contribute to the fear, this is the first thing we
need to overcome. Telling people they are going to progress to
disease and or die, just because they have been infected with
HIV, is not true.
Many infected have lived the last 15 years or more
without HIV-related drugs and dealt with many of the same health
issues as those on drugs, with great success due to nutritional
supplements and complementary therapies.
We may have jumped the gun and put all our efforts
into pharmaceuticals when it came to fighting AIDS. It would be
wise to look at the contributing factors to immune suppression
and address these. Fear, worry, anger, lack of rest, lack of proper
nutrition and exercise and the use of drugs and alcohol can contribute
to and are co-factors in immune suppression. There is hope with
the success of science and medicine, but there is even greater
hope in the successes of those individuals not on drugs who are
My having lived going on 14 years infected with
HIV without antiviral combination therapies suggests to myself
and others that supplements can be used to boost the immune system
and create longevity for a happy and healthy life.
Fast-tracking drugs may push us even further from
the natural resources already available. With the uncertainty
of long term effectiveness of experimental approaches and deaths
associated with these drugs, it is time we validated the successes
of people using natural supplements in the fight against disease.
It is our responsibility to persuade government to include and
provide these nutritional supplements in our health care.
And, insure natural supplements continue to be
available in health food stores. With choice there is hope.