HIV drugs are not the answer for all
by Bradford McIntyre
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
Published in: The Vancouver Sun Monday, April 29, 1996.