HIV :: Positive living – eclipsed by ARV drive

Originally, it seemingly appeared that anyone infected with HIV would progress to disease and die. This has long since been realized to no longer be true. We have individuals all over the world who are living 20 years or more without progression to disease and without the need for antiretroviral (ARV) medications.

This idea that everyone should be on medications has already been shown and proven by those of us infected, to be the wrong way to deal with HIV!

Treating everyone alike is wrong; HIV reacts differently in each person!

Individuals would not only be needlessly put on highly active antiretroviral drugs (HARRT), but these medications and there toxicity, may prove to cause more illness and progression to disease. Often the treatment is worse than the disease!

There are people who have been infected with HIV who have never developed and may never develop AIDS. Very often, individuals who were put on HIV/AIDS medications just because they had tested positive but without showing any signs of illness or immune suppression; they did not need medications!

Whether it was due to side effects or regime, over the years, many people stopped taking their medications and large numbers have gone on living without HIV/AIDS medications. Often for many years!

Individuals infected with HIV have shown time and time again that what are necessary is; adequate sanitation, proper housing, proper food and nutritional support and clean water for drinking and cooking! These should be provided and if they were provided; even more people would likely not have to introduce HIV/AIDS medications. Far more would fare better than the great number of deaths we see in poorer countries, particularly tropical zones where circumstances may actually accelerate illness and progression to AIDS and causing death.

Here in Canada, we are not seeing the kind of deaths we see in places like Africa. For the most part, we have all the above mentioned and medications are available through health care. I was able to go without HIV/AIDS medications for 13 years out of the 20 years I have been living infected with HIV. There are many people who have been living with HIV just as long or longer; who are not taking medications. This is common knowledge here and throughout the world.

I am saddened to see people put on medications when what many need is not medications but proper sanitation, food and water. How can anyone be expected to fight off a virus when their living conditions are less than adequate, where people are already suffering from dysentery and other virus’s and diseases. It is hard enough to keep diarrhea under control that is caused by the HIV/AIDS medications; when you do have proper food and water!

In the richer countries of the world, where food and supplements are plentiful and accessible, individuals are living longer! When infected with HIV and living without the necessities of life, such as clean water and quality food, we have progressive illness and many more deaths.

Just because an individual is infected with HIV; this does not necessarily mean that they will go on to develop opportunistic infections or AIDS.

And people living with HIV have already brought about this realization, as well as, the fact that there are alternative ways to deal with and treat HIV that do not mean using pharmaceuticals! There are people throughout the world living with HIV, without HIV medications; who have continually fought to bring attention to this fact.

We are not properly addressing what is right in front of us, the opportunity to help prevent HIV and AIDS illness and death using proper food, nutritional support, and alternative and complementary therapies. In Europe and the United States, governments and pharmaceutical forces are working at making decisions that if successful, they will not only take away our rights to choose nutritional support and CAM but this will take away what is often for many infected with HIV; a first line of defense in the fight against HIV and AIDS!

Bradford McIntyre, HIV+ for over 20 years
Vancouver, Canada

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