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HIV drugs are not the answer for all

by Bradford McIntyre

Published in: The Vancouver Sun Monday, April 29, 1996.

    Recently new anti-viral drugs with revolutionary potential for the treatment of AIDS went on sale (Costly HIV drug goes on sale in Canada, April 3).

In 1985, I was diagnosed with the HIV/AIDS virus and given six months to live. For four years the doctors kept advising me to take AZT. When I finally did decide to go on the drug, it was with a positive attitude.

After eight months on AZT, I developed severe side effects. I suffered from headaches, out of mind experiences, nausea, insomnia and developed neuropathy, which caused a deterioration of the nerves in my legs. These were all side effects of having taken AZT. This drug, as well as DDI and 3tc, can cause neurological side effects in some people.

This leaves those infected no choices other than nutrition, exercise, alternative therapies and positive living to combat HIV and AIDS.

Living on Canada Pension Plan disability and the cost of living barely allows for an acceptable level of nutrition.

There is great hope and inspiration for those wanting to try these new drug treatments but nothing is available to those who cannot tolerate these drugs and the severe side effects.

What about these people? What about people who are not having any form of traditional drug therapy? What about them and their success with maintaining and improving their health? What about looking into treatments that would help those for whom these drugs can potentially cause severe side effects? There is no mention that these people exist and of the limited treatments available to them. This is an area seldom heard about or dealt with.

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...positive attitudes are not simply 'moods'

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