This has been a boon to Big Pharma with an avenue for creating a profit stream with genetically engineered pharmaceuticals. It has become a political issue too as many reports address the difficulty some groups and nations have in obtaining the drugs.
In some way the drugs have helped, in others the drugs have harmed. This is similar to the interferon use that has been problematic for people with Hep C, MS and correlated "auto-immune" disorders.
For some time we have tried to get funding for an approach to HIV/AIDS that involves the use of supplements to prevent the conversion of HIV to AIDS. (Hope Bill and Melinda are reading this; Sir Elton and Oprah too!)
We also would like to see more respect for groups in Africa that are getting very good response to a mixture with garlic, cayenne, and some other natural ingredients. Beet, especially raw grated beet, is an excellent anti-cancer remedy, so it should encourage mainstream medicos to get a little more open-minded on the cultural approach to health care and healing. (Recall that the AIDS vaccine trial failed.)
Others are questioning the SOP. Could this be that there seem to be some anti-HIV/AIDS nutrients that can probably cure the "dis-ease".
There are four and they involve the glutathione peroxidase mechanism. The key core components are selenium, cysteine, glutamine and tryptophan.
Certainly this is a simpler, safer and very less expensive approach. It is not, however, expedient to Big Pharma, Bill Clinton or politics as usual, and perhaps not the UN agendae.
Recently the Well Being Journal, a publication that has printed a number of my articles, reported on this nutritional supplement regimen and its positive effects. You might find the material interesting reading and very useful. (Additional data)
Other non-SOP approaches are retained at Keep Hope Alive, where I have served as a medical advisor.
With all the benefits to so many from orthomolecular approaches over the past 60 or so years things might be opening up as chemical treatments fail and options dwindle to nothing.
This is just one quark of understanding the benefit of Chaos theory as applied to health and healing.
Universal HIV tests would have big impact: studyBy Michael Kahn Michael Kahn, Tue Nov 25, 2008
LONDON (Reuters) – Near-universal HIV tests and immediate drug treatment for people who test positive would almost eliminate transmission of the deadly virus within a decade, a computer model showed on Wednesday.
Doing this would cost more initially but then save money down the road because there would be fewer HIV-infected people to treat, Reuben Granich and colleagues at the World Health Organization wrote in the journal The Lancet.
The researchers emphasized their findings do not represent new WHO policy or any other guidance but rather stand as a call for discussion on how to better tackle the AIDS epidemic and the role of so-called antiretroviral drugs.
"Although other prevention strategies, alone or in combination, could substantially reduce HIV incidence, our model suggests that only universal voluntary HIV testing and immediate initiation of antiretroviral drugs could reduce transmission to the point at which elimination might be feasible by 2020 for a generalized epidemic, such as that in South Africa," they wrote.
Granich and colleagues used data from South Africa as a test case for a generalized epidemic in their model, which assumed all HIV transmission was through heterosexual sex.
This showed that voluntary screening in which at least 90 percent of the population took part, and immediate drug treatment for those testing positive, could reduce HIV transmission by more than 95 percent within 10 years.
The AIDS virus infects an estimated 33 million people globally, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa, and has killed 25 million. There is no cure.
The advent in the 1990s of combination drug therapy called highly active antiretroviral therapy, or HAART, has extended the lives of many HIV-infected people, particularly in developed countries.
About 3 million people worldwide had received the drug cocktails by the end of 2007, far short of the estimated 6.7 million infected people still in need of treatment, the researchers added.
There are, of course, drawbacks which the researchers and other scientists pointed out. One is how health systems in poor countries can cope with widespread testing, and whether people can stick to the drugs they must take for life.
"At its best, the strategy would prevent morbidity and mortality for the population, both through better treatment of the individual and reduced spread of HIV," Geoffrey Garnett, a researcher at Imperial College London, wrote in a commentary in The Lancet.
"At its worst, the strategy will involve over-testing, over-treatment, side effects, resistance, and potentially reduced autonomy of the individual in their choices of care."
(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Will Dunham and Mark Trevelyan)
Copyright © 2008 Reuters Limited
Faulty AIDS policies caused 365,000 early deaths in SAfrica: study
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The failure to provide anti-retrovirals to AIDS patients in South Africa led to the premature deaths of 365,000 people between 2000-2005, according to a new Harvard university study.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) said the policies of Thabo Mbeki, who was heavily criticized during his 1999-2008 presidency for the denial of scientific remedies for AIDS, contributed directly to the deaths.
"Many lives were lost because of a failure to accept the use of available (antiretroviral drugs) to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in a timely manner," researchers said.
Mbeki's health minister, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, was widely discredited for proposing lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and beetroot as AIDS treatments as the country battled one of the world's worst AIDS epidemics.
Some 5.5 million of the 47 million population are infected by HIV -- over 18 percent of the adult population.
The study, published online last month and available Monday in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes, said the country lost at least 3.8 million years of life from the 330,000 adults who died for lack of proper treatment and the 35,000 babies who died after they were born with HIV.
For the study's model researchers compared the policies of the South African government with those of neighbouring Botswana and Namibia, which are suffering from comparable epidemics and did enforce a policy of treating patients with appropriate drugs.
According to the World Health Organization, 33 million people around the world are infected with the AIDS virus, mostly in the sub-Sahara Africa.
Some two million people died worldwide of AIDS in 2007.
Copyright © 2008 Agence France Presse