AIDS and HIV
It is a disturbing and widespread myth that HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) and AIDS, the usually fatal condition believed to be caused by HIV, no longer pose a grave public health threat. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that 5 million Americans are considered to be at high risk for HIV infection. Half of all new cases of HIV occur in people under the age of twenty-five. Although scientists have discovered several treatments that extend the life span of people with the virus, there is still no cure. Even grimmer is the news that AIDS rates, after a short period of decline, are on the rise. Gay men were once thought to be the group most at risk for contracting HIV, but statistics show that heterosexual teenagers, both male and female; Hispanics; blacks; and women are now contracting the disease in rapidly increasing numbers.
HIV is transmitted via vaginal or anal sex or by blood-to-blood contact. It is vitally important for everyone to practice safe sex, preferably in the form of a monogamous relationship with an HIV-free partner, and to abstain from intravenous drug use. Don't rely solely on condoms to protect you, as they sometimes let HIV and other viruses pass through. Intravenous drug users are at a high risk: if you have an addiction, you should seek help, but at the very least you should never share needles with anyone.
The virus may also be passed from mother to child during birth or breastfeeding. It is possible to greatly reduce the chance of transmitting the disease during birth. Pregnant women should be tested for HIV as soon as possible, so that they and their unborn children can receive vital treatment. HIV is sometimes contracted by healthcare workers who are stuck with infected needles. Also, be aware that the virus cannot be transmitted through casual contact, such as coughing, sneezing, shaking hands, or dry kissing.
Like all viruses, once HIV has entered the body, it seeks to replicate itself. What makes HIV far deadlier than, say, a cold virus, is that is takes a particularly aggressive tactic within the body: once it invades a cell, it reprograms that cell's genetic material. Normally, a cell will reproduce by dividing and creating a copy of itself. In this way, the body regenerates itself at the most basic level. But when cells that are invaded by HIV divide, they don't create copies of themselves-the create copies of the virus. Those copies then invade other healthy cells, so that, eventually, the virus cells far outnumber the healthy ones. To make matters worse, HIV attacks a particular kind of immune cell, called a Helper T-cell (these lymphocytes have a receptor protein called CD4+ in their outer membrane and so are also referred to as CD4+ lymphocytes). As more and more CD4+ cells are destroyed, the body's ability to fight off infections is dramatically weakened.
Most people do not notice any symptoms when HIV first invades the body. People with HIV will usually go for years without knowing it, unless they are tested for the disease. Before AIDS develops, many will begin to experience symptoms such as night sweats, fatigue, fevers, diarrhea, weight loss, enlarged lymph nodes, thrush, herpes, mouth ulcers, and bleeding gums. Later, as the number of T-cells continues to decrease, their bodies will be highly vulnerable to infection by viruses and bacteria. HIV-positive people might contract a variety of diseases that are otherwise rare, such as Kaposi's sarcoma (a kind of skin cancer characterized by raised purple welts), the Epstein-Barr virus (also known as chronic fatigue syndrome), neurological problems, eye infections (including cytomegalovirus, which can cause blindness), toxoplasmic encephalitis (a brain infection), and systemic candidiasis (yeast infection). Other infections are those we usually consider common, such as pneumonia and various respiratory ailments.
Acquired immunodeficiency virus (AIDS) is the most severe form of HIV infection. A person with HIV infection is considered to have AIDS when at least one complicating illness develops or the person's ability to defend against infection significantly declines, as measured by a low CD4+ lymphocyte count. Since the number of CD4+ lymphocytes in the blood helps to determine the ability of the immune system to protect the body from infections, it is a good measure of the degree of damage done by HIV infection. A healthy person has a CD4+ lymphocyte count of roughly 800 to 1,300 cells per microliter of blood. Typically, 40 to 60 percent of CD4+ lymphocytes are destroyed in the first few months of infection. After about six months, the CD4+ count stops falling so quickly, but it continues to decline. If the CD4+ count falls below about 200 cells per microliter of blood, the immune system is susceptible to severe, life-threatening infections.
It is important to note that while all people with AIDS are HIV-positive, not all people with HIV develop AIDS. Most HIV-positive people develop AIDS within eight to twelve years after first contracting the virus, but some develop it much faster, and many others still remain healthy decades after contracted HIV. It appears that people who are able to ward off full-blown AIDS are those whose immune systems are the strongest. Therefore, complementary therapies for HIV and AIDS work to bolster the ability of the immune system to fight infection.
If you contract HIV, you need to work with a doctor who knows about the latest treatments available for the disease. Although a cure has yet to be found, research is producing new therapies on an almost monthly basis. In addition, you will need medication to combat any infections that might arise.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; level of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when taking any and all supplements.
The top 7 vitamins and supplements shown to help AIDS and HIV:
Prescription for Natural
Cures by James F. Balch, M.D. and Mark Stengler, N.M.D.
Super Prescription #1 Phyto Greens - Super Greens - LifeSource Product Take an organic super green food, such as chlorella or spirulina, or a mixture of super green foods each day. It supplies a host of nutrients and antioxidants. Take as directed on the container. Take Capsules, or Powders.
Super Prescription # 2 Multivitamin – High Potency – LifeSource VitaminsTake a high-potency multivitamin and mineral formula daily, as it will contain a strong base of the antioxidants and other nutrients that improve immune function. See all of our Liquids, Powders and Pill Form.
Super Prescription #3 Whey Protein - LifeSource Product Take 25 grams daily or as directed by your doctor. It helps prevent tissue wasting and repairs the digestive tract. We have all versions of Grass Fed Organic Whey Protein.
Super Prescription #4 Super Antioxidant formula - LifeSource Vitamins - Many studies have shown that people with HIV have a greater need for antioxidants. Take a combination antioxidant formula, as directed on the container.
Super Prescription #5 B-complex - LifeSource
Vitamins - Take a 50 mg complex twice daily. Many people with HIV have deficiencies of the B vitamins, which can impair immune function.
Super Prescription # 6 Vitamin C – LifeSource VitaminsTake 1,000 to 3,000 mg daily. It supports immune function.
Super Prescription #7 Probiotics / Dophilus - LifeSource Product - Take a daily probiotic supplement that contains at least 4 billion active organisms. Probiotics are used to replenish healthful bacteria that fight intestinal infection and support immunity.
Multivitamin Supplementation May Help Reduce AIDS Mortality - Article
There are no symptoms during the early stages of HIV, except perhaps a fever when the virus first invades the body. As the virus continues to invade, the following symptoms can occur:
- Night sweats
- Weight loss
- Enlarged lymph nodes
- Thrush (mouth fungus)
- Mouth ulcers
- Bleeding gums
Several conditions are associated with full-blown AIDS. Following are some of the most common:
- Kaposi's sarcoma (a type of skin cancer characterized by raised purple welts)
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Eye problems (often related to cytomegalovirus, which can cause blindness)
- Toxoplasmic encephalitis (a brain infection)
- Pneumonia and other respiratory ailments
- Cancer of various organs
- Anal or vaginal sex with an infected partner
- Blood-to-blood contact with an infected person (such as from sharing needles for intravenous drug use)
- Transfusions of infected blood (in the United States, blood donations have been screened for HIV since 1985)
- In the womb, at birth, or during breastfeeding
To reduce the risk of toxins entering your body, food should be as clean and pure as possible. If you cook meat and poultry at home, reduce your risk of food poisoning by keeping preparation areas sanitary and by cooking at high-enough temperatures. Eat organic food, if it is available. If organic products are not an option, at least wash your food with pure water to get rid of pesticides and other toxins.
If you have HIV or AIDS, you absolutely must eat well. A good basic diet will include plenty of raw vegetables, seeds, nuts, grains, fresh fruit, and lean protein from quality sources. As the virus continues to invade your body, you may find that you lose your appetite, but try to keep eating healthful meals; an adequate intake of calories is more important now than ever. Protein is particularly important to prevent weight loss and maintain optimal immune function. Try to consume 2.0 grams for ever 2.2 pounds of body weight. A high quality whey protein is helpful in attaining this goal.
Garlic and onions have natural antibiotic effects, so use them often.
To fight HIV or AIDS, include cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, and others) in your diet.
Drink a glass of clean water every two waking hours. Make sure the water is from a good source, to avoid bacteria and parasite infection.
The "good" bacteria in your digestive tract help fight infection, so maintain their presence by eating yogurt with live cultures, especially Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidus. This is especially important if you are taking antibiotics, which kill the good bacteria along with the bad. If you cannot tolerate yogurt, take probiotic capsules.
If you have HIV, it is strongly advised that you invest in a good juicer. Live juices will help your weakened system absorb a maximum amount of nutrients. Drink several glasses daily of a variety of juices, especially those made from cruciferous vegetables, black radishes, cabbage, greens (such as wheatgrass), and carrots. Foods to Avoid
Do not consume raw eggs; unpasteurized milk, cheese, or cider; or rare meat. All of these products can contain harmful bacteria. In people who have compromised immune systems, these bacteria can lead to septicemia, an extremely dangerous and often fatal condition.
Cut out junk food, fried food, sugar, and alcohol, all of which suppress your immune system and tax your entire body.
Find out now if you have any food allergies or sensitivities, because they cause the immune system to attack itself.
Every month consider doing a juice fast. Juices made from carrots, cabbage, greens, and apples help cleanse the body. Green drinks are another excellent way to purify the blood.
- Get plenty of rest and fresh air.
- Regular exercise will counteract stress and help keep you healthy, but don't overdo it. A daily morning walk is a good idea. Weight lifting helps to maintain muscle mass.
- Try to get early morning sunlight on your skin, but make sure to stay away from harsh or bright sun. People with HIV have a heightened vulnerability to skin cancer.
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*Disclaimer: None of the above statements have been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. As always, consult your physician before taking any and all supplements. LifeSource Vitamins. Individual results may vary.
Disclaimer: All the information contained throughout this website is based upon the opinion of the founder of LifeSource Vitamins, Bruce Brightman, and the entire team at LifeSource Vitamins whose relentless research and studies have been ongoing on since 1992. Other articles and information are based on the opinions of the authors, who retains the copyright as marked on the article. The information on this site is not intended to replace your health care professional, but to enhance your relationship with them. Doing your own studying and research and taking your health care into your own hands is always best, especially in partnership with your health care professional. If you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications, or have any medical conditions, always consult your health care professional before taking supplements based on the information on this site.