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On HIV:
Science, Medical, Pharmaceutical, Government
& Media
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The Way to Wellness
and Healing
Bradford's Essay
On HIV: Science, Medical, Pharmaceutical, Government and Media
Bradford's Essay
On HIV
(Download PDF. Version)
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On HIV:
Science, Medical, Pharmaceutical, Government and Media
by Bradford McIntyre

 

 

It is time for complementary therapies to be brought to the forefront and on an equal level with pharmaceuticals. We have to persuade everyone, pharmaceutical companies and their shareholders, government, the medical profession, media and the public to recognize the importance of using every available means when it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS and all disease!

How can there be any real understanding about HIV/AIDS and HIV prevention, without the necessary information reported?

HIV/AIDS reported in the news is minimal, at a time when it needs to be at the forefront. Money is being spent to try and determine ways to provide HIV prevention strategies. In order to reach everyone, HIV needs to be in the news! Talking about safe sex and the need to use a condom or providing condoms is not working!

People believe HIV infection will never happen to them and many still associate HIV/AIDS with gay people. Yet men, women and children of every race and religious or spiritual belief are being infected with HIV every day, all over the world! Even the Vatican continues to oppose condom use to fight AIDS while HIV infection escalates! People think because we have antiretroviral therapies there is no need to practice safe sex or worry. There is no guarantee these medications will work on everyone! An infected individual may be resistant to all the drugs taken by the person who transmitted the disease. One out of every 10 Europeans newly infected with HIV has a drug-resistant strain of the virus according to a study released at the 2003 International AIDS Society's 2nd Conference, on HIV Pathogenesis and Treatment, held in Paris. Multiple sex partners means multiple infections can occur with the likelihood of infection with more than one HIV strain. This places an individual in greater danger of illness and or death as well as any person they infect. Some strains of HIV have been shown to cause illness and death rapidly regardless of immune status. Being infected with HIV may also include being infected with hepatitis C, as well as other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

For years, the gay community successfully promoted and practiced safe sex practices, which reduced the number of infections dramatically over a period of ten years. With antiretroviral therapies and fewer deaths associated with these treatments, many gay people have discontinued safe sex practices. HIV infection is not disclosed to partners and anal sex without a condom is increasing at alarming rates. So now HIV infection is on the rise again amongst gay people.

Also, the heterosexual community is not practicing safe sex, which is evident in the statistics of HIV infection amongst heterosexuals worldwide. Seventy five percent of the world population infected with HIV is heterosexual. Fifty percent of all HIV infections are in women. Repetition of these facts is warranted, as there has been insufficient time or attention given to the dispersal of proper information through the media regarding HIV and AIDS and HIV prevention.

Studies show that anal sex is common throughout the world and in some countries 60% of adults practice anal sex. Women in the United States are reported to be seven times more likely to engage in unprotected anal sex, than men having sex with men. Condom usage is lower for heterosexual anal sex compared to vaginal sex. Many men who have sex with men do not define themselves as gay. More and more women are being infected with HIV through sexual intercourse with their male partner, unaware their partner is bisexual! In heterosexual relationships, infidelity is also responsible for increases in HIV infection among women.

There is the perception that if you are infected, HIV is manageable. Managing HIV/AIDS can become a full time job! It involves management of your health through doctor's appointments, hospital visits for blood work and appointments at hospital pharmacies to pick up your necessary HIV/AIDS medications. You must manage the side effects of the drugs and drug resistance. There are the demands of managing to overcome each opportunistic infection. All of these are essential to manage to stay alive!

HIV infection does not occur without an opportunity!

HIV can be stopped, but without more public awareness of the risks involved, safe sex practices and the realities of people living with HIV, the numbers of infections will continue to grow and more lives devastated! This awareness cannot be provided by AIDS organizations alone! Government and the media need to play a more active role in HIV prevention. The truth about HIV infection needs to be told!

Health authorities predict by the year 2010, there will be 45 million new infections and 70 million people will die of AIDS by 2020.

UNAIDS estimates as many as two thirds, of the 45 million new HIV infections expected by 2010 could be prevented if prevention programs were immediately expanded.

Reeta Bhatia, senior policy advisor for the International Affairs Directorate of Health Canada says, "Engaging in international HIV/AIDS work will help protect and preserve decades of investment in the developing world and contribute to the economic growth and stability on which an independent world economy depends to function effectively. Global action is also necessary because HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases ignore geographical boundaries. Until the epidemic is halted globally, every country is at increased risk. In recent years, a global AIDS movement has developed and continues to grow. Taken as a whole, this effort constitutes one of the largest international peacetime collaborations in history. Today, more people than ever before are engaged in the global response to HIV/AIDS, including community-based organizations, business and labor, religious leaders, youth organizations, women's groups, the entertainment industry and a variety of government sectors. The strength of networking and effective organization among people living with HIV/AIDS continues to grow and to give an important voice to the epidemic. The commitment of Canada and Canadians to respond to HIV/AIDS both at home and abroad sends a clear message that isolationism is impossible in an interconnected interdependent world, that we need international awareness and understanding and that we need to recognize our common humanity and the issues that unite us."

 

Our own judgments and those we place on others contribute to our dis-ease and disease. This plays a role in how we judge the disease. Moving everyone to a reliance on pharmaceuticals leads us into a world where there is more resistance.

  • physical resistance to viruses and bacteria.
  • resistance to breaking the boundaries of our created differences.

HIV and AIDS has taught and shown me, that we are ALL connected and there are endless possibilities!

While dealing with HIV or AIDS, dedicated people have worked tirelessly, creating awareness in the many areas related to HIV and AIDS. Individuals spoke out; ignored the HIV stigma and broke down the barriers of fear and discrimination in their own lives as well as for the sake of others. Among the varied issues, many pioneered the importance of complementary therapies and their uses in treating HIV/AIDS. For some, the benefits from their efforts were not always realized while they were alive. Where some left off striving, others are going onward. This challenging work will continue until science, the medical profession, pharmaceutical companies, governments and media combine all resources to promote the usage of complementary therapies as an integral part of the methods for treatment of illnesses.

These are issues that many others and I encountered and we fought to bring about change.
It is my wish that those who are not aware, become aware
and help in the challenge to bring about change!

 

by Bradford McIntyre

 


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