Confusion and Conflict when it comes to HIV and AIDS
by Bradford McIntyre
In Canada, HIV was first diagnosed among gay men.
Later, hemophiliacs and others with health problems were infected due to tainted blood received through
blood transfusions. People infected early on had no treatment available! A new and strange virus was
weakening the immune system and causing illness (what we now know as opportunistic infections) in
various ways. That's all we knew! Those who were infected looked for ways to boost their immune
system. Not everyone affected by the disease was dying. Unfortunately, the media wrote only
about those who were being ravaged by the disease and dying.
People infected with HIV educated themselves. They learned about the positive impact to their
health through nutrition, vitamins, minerals, herbs and botanicals and many alternative and complementary
therapies. Often, the results were stable or boosted immune systems! The news spread and the evidence
was affirmed to us through people who did not get sick. The above methods were used to aid in
healing opportunistic infections as well as addressing the side effects of the drugs when
pharmaceuticals became available.
There was and still is much confusion and conflict when it comes to HIV and AIDS. Many do not
realize that HIV is not the same as AIDS. The media has not provided the necessary attention, information
and the true realities of this disease to the world. Fear and stigma have risen when it should be
declining. HIV infection can be managed. The incorrect assumption that HIV is the same as AIDS
contributes to the belief that HIV infection means automatic death. In reality, there is a
great deal that can be done to prevent the progression to AIDS.
As well as taking care of one another, fundraising, starting AIDS organizations, fighting for
treatments and human rights, a network was created to inform and educate people in the ways of addressing
HIV. Specifically, education about the immune system and the positive benefits of using alternative
therapies was essential!
Around the world, people infected with HIV are very knowledgeable. They are aware that millions
of people are addressing HIV through nutrition and vitamin and mineral supplements. These have proven to be
beneficial and a great success, whether taking HIV medications or not. Many of us have lived 20 years or
more! Yet, nearly a quarter of century since HIV crept into existence, the confusion and conflict
continues regarding the benefits of these methods. This makes no sense!
Canada and other countries are prime examples of the recognition given to the use of the above
treatment modalities. Scientists and physicians have shown the benefits through various studies. Many
governments, such as Canada, have created additional funding for infected individuals, to purchase
clean drinking water, food, vitamin supplements and complementary therapies. These have enabled
assistance and improvement in many ways: diarrhea, nausea, neuropathy, irritated skin and
rashes, wasting, fatigue, loss of appetite, immune suppression and successfully
boosting the immune system, reducing side effects of the drugs and increased
the efficacy of the HIV/AIDS drugs!
The conflict continues even though science and millions of affected people have more than
proven the efficacy of these alternative treatments. The time is past due to end this conflict and
acknowledge with rightful recognition their importance in the fight against AIDS! It is urgent
that we use every available means to combat this disease and bring comfort to those in need.
Pharmaceuticals play a very important role in assisting the immune system when it is weakened and
when the virus is out of control and causing serious problems. The only way to determine how the HIV is
reacting in your body is through regular blood work. This knowledge of how HIV is reacting allows you
and your physician to closely monitor your health status. You are better prepared to understand and
address health issues. Often, people wait too long before getting tested and/or starting HIV/AIDS
medications. Knowledge is the weapon to create a positive impact on our health. By using every
available means, the more likely we are to survive!
We must end this conflict now!
Vancouver, BC, Canada
copyright © Bradford McIntyre