The Importance of Integrative Medicine in the Treatment of HIV/AIDS (Part I)

December 22, 2013

(PRN)On December 2, 2013 president Obama marked the 25th Anniversary of World AIDS Day by pledging $100 million to research on finding a cure for HIV.[1]

Discussing his new push for funding, Obama remarked that

“The United States should be at the forefront of new discoveries into how to put HIV into long-term remission without requiring lifelong therapies, or better yet, eliminate it completely.”

[2]  However laudable this commitment to ending the war on HIV/AIDS is, we must question how it is that billions of dollars spent for decades on a pharmaceutical-based treatment has not yielded better results.  For our answers let’s go back to December 9, 1993, when more than 100 persons assembled with their physicians and their medical records in New York City at a major press conference.

They had been selected over a twelve month period if they could prove with medical verification, including blood work up, viral load, CD4 and CD8 count, that they had made major improvements without relapse with their AIDS diagnosis. These individuals followed more than 20 different alternative treatments programs. An independent panel of medical and scientific experts brought to the press conference more than 25,000 scientific references[3][4][5][6] (see examples in footnotes below) from the peer-reviewed literature to verify the medical veracity, efficacy and safety of any given protocol used by the patients.images (15)

Herbs, botanicals, homeopathic and naturopathic remedies, intravenous vitamin drips, ozone therapy, meditation, detoxification, stress reduction, a plant-based diet, and antioxidants therapy were all examined for their antiviral, antibacterial and anti-yeast and/or immune-modulating impacts. Therefore, if one of the patients were to suggest that they were following the Louise Hay, Gerson, or Ann Wigmore protocols, it would not have been difficult to have understood how these protocols were helping these individuals’ bodies.

All of this was precipitated more than a year and a half earlier by a group of AIDS patients who came each day to a medical facility in the Upper West Side of Manhattan to be attended by a group of physicians, nurse practitioners, and other therapists helping them to restore their immune systems and adopt a more positive, optimistic state of mind. The theoretical framework behind our program was simple: instead of trying to kill the virus with antiretroviral pharmaceuticals designed to stop viral replication before it kills patients, we focused on what benefits could be gained by building up the patients’ natural immunity and restoring biochemical integrity so the body could fight for itself.

As they began to make major improvements, one of the patients spoke up one evening. He explained that in ddition to his own progress in combating AIDS naturally, he knew of other individuals who were using more natural and holistic modalities all across the country and that the world didn’t know of this. The world only knew of the official AIDS treatment: AZT. He and the other people being treated at the facility all feared the mainstream treatment because they had seen how many of their friends and partners as well as other AIDS patients had died or become extremely sick using these aggressive drugs and yet, the natural modalities had been virtually ignored in any public discussion on AIDS. So it was at their urging that the press conference evolved.

That day in December could have been historic if only members of the press, scientific community, government agencies, activist organizations and foundations had chosen to attend and been open to a different medical paradigm. Despite the fact that more than 7,000 individuals from the media and these other groups had been invited on three separate occasions in the months leading up to the press conference, not one showed up. Clearly this was an intentional boycott. As a result, the patients spent the entire afternoon, each giving their own testimonials, showing their records and having their physicians speak about the remarkable improvements they saw; but the findings presented largely remained a secret from the rest of the world.

Tony Brown, of PBS, learned of the press conference and began to look carefully and meticulously at the AIDS patients who had made remarkable recoveries, inviting more than eight to appear on his national television program. I was also invited to appear on Tony Brown’s program since these were my protocols and I had been working every day with these specific individuals for more than 16 months. The program profiled one man named Louie, who submitted medical records showing that he experienced a life-affirming reversal of AIDS and all of its conditions. You can go to Tony Brown’s Journal archives and review the entire film at your leisure.

Up to that point, I had spent every day for years working with people with AIDS-defining conditions, written twenty-two articles on living with AIDS naturally and a 750 page reference book with nearly 100 pages of it covering how to treat AIDS naturally. Further, I had produced a documentary, Living with AIDS Naturally: The Real Heroes, chronicling the story of AIDS patients in the nineties that did not respond well to orthodox therapy but improved after incorporating natural holistic protocols to their treatment programs.

After all this, one would have thought that this information would have permeated into the mainstream AIDS dialogue. In fact, just the opposite occurred. Because I challenged the safety and efficacy of AZT and called into question the science behind conventional AIDS treatment, I was personally attacked as an AIDS denialist, which I categorically deny.  There is no debate that HIV exists and that it attacks the immune system. What is still up for debate is whether pharmaceutical drugs are the complete answer. Back then and still today, there is no opportunity for questioning, you are either on board or thrown overboard and then attacked.

Despite the array of devastating side effects that AZT is known to produce, it is still used today in combination with other medications, albeit at much lower doses. Today, if any physician were to prescribe AZT in the same amount that was typical in the 1980s and early 1990s, they would more likely than not be brought up for medical malpractice. While survival rates have increased with the introduction of new anti-retroviral treatments, the mainstream treatments continue to focus on pharmaceutical drugs to the exclusion of holistic lifestyle therapies. This is especially alarming given the extensive body of independent scientific research spanning decades that indicates that we were right all along about the critical importance of treating AIDS patients by incorporating a comprehensive, immunity-enhancing behavior and lifestyle modification approach that incorporates diet and nutritional therapies, detoxification, exercise, meditation and stress reduction.

As public awareness about the therapeutic value of alternative approaches to health and wellness increases, a growing number of individuals and groups within the scientific community are calling attention to the benefits of an integrative approach to AIDS.  Given President Obama’s recent pledge of $100 million towards a cure for HIV/AIDS, it is clear that drugs alone are not the answer. By shifting the paradigm to one that embraces and incorporates proven natural methods, we have the potential to revolutionize modern HIV/AIDS treatments and empower individuals to achieve greater health and longevity.

[1] Culp-Ressler, Tara. “President Obama Pledges $100 Million In Funding To Help Beat AIDS.” ThinkProgress RSS. N.p., 3 Dec. 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. http://thinkprogress.org/health/2013/12/03/3010991/obama-100-million-aids/.

[2] Ibid

[3] Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K., Glaser, R. (1993).. Mind and immunity. In: D. Goleman & J. Gurin, (Eds.) Mind/Body Medicine (pp. 39-59). New York: Consumer Reports.

[4] Sauter, C., Wolfensberger, C (1989) Anticancer activities as well as antiviral and virus-enhancing properties of aqueousfruit extracts from fifty-six European plant species. European Journal of Cancer and Clinical Oncology Jun;25(6):987-990.

[5] RS, Chang., Yeung, HW. (1988). Inhibition of growth of human immunodeficiency virus in vitro by crude extracts of Chinese medicinal herbs. Antiviral Research (pp. 163-175)

[6] Zheng, MS. (1989). An experimental study of the anti-HSV-II action of 500 herbal drugs. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Jun;9(2):113-116.

By Dr. Gary Null

gary-nullTime magazine called him “The New Mr. Natural.” My Generation magazine dubbed him one of the top health gurus in the United States. For over three decades, Gary Null has been one of the foremost advocates of alternative medicine and natural healing. A multi award-winning journalist and New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Null has written over 70 books on nutrition, self-empowerment and public health issues, including his most recent, Power Aging. His syndicated public radio show, Natural Living with Gary Null, earned 21 Silver Microphone Awards and is the longest-running, continuously aired health program in America (27 years). Currently, The Gary Null Show can be heard on PRN  from 12:00 noon to 1:00 pm ET. Null also broadcasts on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays on WPFW (89.3 FM) from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm EST in Washington D.C. In addition, he can be heard in Los Angeles on Something’s Happening with Roy of Hollywood on KPFK (90.7 FM) from 12:00 am to 5:30 am PST. Lastly, Dr. Null can be heard on Sunday evenings on the Health Radio Network at 8:00 pm EST, broadcast over a growing national network of radio stations. The Gary Null Show is not a “chit-chat” show but, rather, an on-air health forum featuring knowledgeable guests and well-researched scientific information that is presented objectively and in layperson’s terms. The program’s combination of provocative interviews, controversial commentary, and listener call-ins motivate listeners to change their lives for the better.

For complete article and Protocal go to PRN.

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