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[afro-nets] Nutrition Support for PLWHA (10)

  • From: Bradford McIntyre <bradford@positivelypositive.ca>
  • Date: Mon, 1 Nov 2004 12:47:58 -0800

Nutrition Support for PLWHA (10)

Although it would appear, due to the fact many people are not
OUT about their HIV infection or reporting how they are treating
their HIV infection; on the contrary, there are large numbers of
people around the world who are living with HIV! With or without
medications! Due to the fact that there is relatively no time
given by the media as to how people are living with HIV other
than with pharmaceuticals, there is however a vast amount of in-
formation on the internet. Including countless testimonials to
support there are more than just a few of us!

The difference I see between where I live and that of some of
the poorer countries is this: Here in Canada where I live, we
have clean drinking water and sanitation, a plentiful supply of
food and Vitamin supplements are also available and plentiful
here. How can anyone be expected to survive without these? How
can anyone be expected to tolerate the drugs without these? We
have access to healthcare which includes anti retro viral thera-
pies and protease inhibitors.

There was a time when individuals were put on HIV/AIDS drugs
just for having tested positive for the virus. There was a pe-
riod of years, where it was believed the best way to treat an
infected person was to "hit them early, hit them hard" with
medications. This practice has long since been recognized by
science, the medical profession and individuals infected, as the
wrong way to treat HIV and it was stopped for the most part.
But, depending on where you live this still is going on today!

In place routinely now; there are guidelines where the level of
CD4 count and the amount of viral load determines the appropri-
ate time for when to start treatment. With that said we must
also be reminded that HIV reacts differently in each person!

Individuals have been very successful using nutrition, exercise,
vitamin supplements and alternative and complementary therapies
which enabled them to stay healthy and avoid the need for phar-
maceuticals. As well, many people are including all of these
along with the HIV/AIDS medications with great success.

I am deeply concerned that in many places in the world that peo-
ple are being put on antiretroviral therapy just because they
have tested positive for HIV. A positive test does not determine
disease of progression to disease. It is important to have regu-
lar blood work. The only way to know how HIV is reacting in an
individual; is through regular blood work. Unfortunately, there
are places around the world where access to medical treatment is
limited or worse, does not exist.

There are obviously many strains of HIV and along with being in-
fected with HIV, many are not aware that they are also at risk
of being infected with multiple strains of HIV. An HIV infection
can also mean an infection of any number of STD's. Often includ-
ing, Hepatitis C of which there are four times the number in-
fected than those infected with HIV.

Lastly, I am taking HIV/AIDS medications and I have been taking
the HIV/AIDS drugs since 1998, so I know the importance of pro-
viding there use and there benefits. There is no doubt that I
would not be alive today if it were not for HIV/AIDS medica-
tions. Equally, I would not be here today had I not included and
incorporated the many uses of vitamins supplements and alterna-
tive and complementary therapies throughout all these twenty
years infected with HIV! I could not have gone without HIV/AIDS
medications for 13 years without the aid of vitamin supplements
and CAM. And, I could not have nor could I continue to deal with
the side effects of the drugs or increased the efficacy of the
drugs, without all that I have incorporated along with the
drugs. The same can be said for a great number of people!

Bradford McIntyre, HIV+ 20years
Vancouver, Canada