HIV infection and AIDS

The HIV virus weakens the immune system. Infection takes place via bodily fluids - mostly through sexual contact. AIDS develops as the immune system is progressively weakened by the HIV infection giving way to serious infections and disease.

An abbreviation of Human Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV can destroy a special type of white blood cells called the T-helper cells or DC4 cells which can lead to a violent weakening and straining of the body. In the long run, this can lead to a long line of diseases on account of a failing immune system.

HIV belongs to the group of retrovirus which can be recognized because of its hereditary material consisting of RNA and because the virus has an enzyme (reverse transcriptase) which can convert RNA into DNA. Two types of HIV have been found - HIV 1 and HIV 2. HIV 1 is most common in the Western World while HIV 2 is mostly seen in Western Africa. HIV 1 is more aggressive and more contagious than HIV 2.

If HIV gets into your body, you can be infected. A blood sample can detect if there are antibodies targeted at HIV in the blood which is a sign that you are infected with HIV. Antibodies are substances made by the body in order to fight off bacteria, vira, etc. It is only natural, therefore, for HIV to provoke the production of antibodies. Approx. 1 - 2 months and sometimes up to 3 months go by from the time of infection until the antibodies can be detected in the blood.

HIV can be found in all bodily fluids, in smaller or larger concentrations, but only blood, sperm, vaginal secretions, and partly urine and breast milk have concentrations large enough for them to be a source of infection. Enzymes with an ability to break down virus have been detected in saliva.

HIV is not infectious through hugs, by sharing a drinking glass, using the same toilet, or shaking hands. HIV is first and foremost transmitted through unprotected sex via intercourse, anal sex, and oral sex. Moreover, infection is transmitted by means of dirty hypodermic needles that are being used by several people. HIV can also be transmitted via blood transfusions, via blood products, or from an HIV-positive pregnant woman to her foetus at birth or when nursing the baby. Today, transfusion blood is controlled before being used.

Research indicates that men who are circumcised have 30% less risk of infecting a female partner with HIV than men who are not circumcised. However, this number also indicates that circumcision is not an adequate measure of prevention.

Since HIV can attack all people regardless of their age, sex, or sexual orientation, in theory all people are at risk of being exposed to the infection.

You can reduce the risk of being infected with HIV by:
  • Practicing safe sex - using a condom when together with random sexual partners or avoid having sex with someome you do not know.
  • Only having one sexual partner - which is the safest thing to do.
  • Using a condom when having intercourse and never re-use a condom.
  • Using water-based spermicides containing nonoxynol-9 which also has an antiviral effect. It does not, however, provide a 100% protection.
  • Avoiding oral sex without using protection and avoiding exchanging bodily secretions.
  • Avoiding having sex when you are drunk or in other ways intoxicated.
  • Never using another person's tootbrush, shaving tools, hypodermic needles or syringes as there might be a risk of infection through blood.
In order to find out if you are infected with HIV, you have to take a blood test. A person infected with HIV is said to be HIV positive. An HIV-positive person can infect other people even though there are no visible indications that the person is infected - and for this reason the person might not even be aware of it him-/herself. It is impossible to see if a person is infected because he/she can be otherwise completely healthy.

If you are being notified that you are HIV positive, it might be a good idea to consult someone who can help you with professional crisis counselling. You should also consult a doctor who specializes in the area - even though you might seem perfectly healthy - because various health problems can develop as time goes by.

In the beginning, an HIV-positive person might have a sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and a slight fever. Later on, the person can experience constantly swollen lymph nodes - especially in the axilla, the groin, and the neck. There might also bee shiverings, tiredness, headache, frequent fever, nightly sweats, reduced appetite, weight loss, diarrhoea, dry cough, and fungal infections in the mouth or in the gastro-intestinal system.

A long line of other symptoms and infections might also occur as a consequence of the immune system being weakened. They might be weight loss, pneumonia, certain forms of cancer, and perhaps damages to the nervous system. For some people, this development might happen very fast - for others it can happen very slowly. It is not uncommon that 10 years go by from the time of infection until the symptoms start to appear.

It is often debated how soon the medical treatment (which today can almost extinguish the virus) should be initiated. On the one hand, the body must not be so damaged that the damages are too difficult to mend because too much time has passed by. On the other hand, the treatment is sharp and violent, often filled with side effects, and not very thoroughly tested, and the dosages must be strictly followed in order for the virus not to become resistant.
It is the CD4 (T-helper cell)-count that is measured when attending for control, so that the state of health can be monitored in relation to the HIV development.

In the 80s, HIV was mostly found in homosexual (gay) environments, and among male and femal prostitutes and drug addicts who shared needles.

The incidence of the virus in the gay community and among drug addicts have been reduced, but the infection increases among heterosexual and bisexual men and women. Globally, the sexuallly transmitted infection is dominating. The majority of the new cases are below 25 years of age and almost 50% are women. More than 90% of all HIV-positive people live in poor development countries, especially Africa and Asia.

The condition is not a disease in itself but more a tendency towards developing a number of serious diseases on account of a failing immune defence. AIDS is an abbreviation of Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome which is defined by various serious infections or tumours in people with HIV infection.

A person who has been HIV positive for up to 10 years can - if he/she continues to have a weakened immune defence - experience re-occuring symptoms such as tiredness, fever, headache, a sore throat, dry cough, joint- and muscle pains, nightly sweats, swollen lymph nodes, diarrhoea, and fungal infection or re-occuring outbreaks of herpes. In time, exhaustion, loss of appetite, weight loss, general weakening, multiple infections, and constantly swollen lymph nodes will occur.

The diagnosis of AIDS can be made if you are HIV positive and only have 1/5 of the normal level of T-helper cells and have one or more of the typically AIDS-related diseases which are:
Pneumonia, fungal infections in the mouth and oesophagus, tuberculosis, encephalitis (caused by cryptococcus), cytomegalovirus in the lungs, intestines, or eyes, toxoplasmosis (rabbit fever) in the brain, or the skin cancer Kaposi's sarcoma which can affect the skin, the mucous membranes of the mouth and intestines, and the internal organs. Some people develop malignant tumours which sometimes affect the brain.

An HIV infection in the nervous system can - in an advanced stage of AIDS which often occurs a couple of years after the diagnosis of AIDS has been made - result in dementia as a result of changes in the nervous system which can even result in reduced nervous functions such as paralyses, dizziness, visual disturbances, and, furthermore, various forms of cancer, e.g. cervix cancer.

HIV testing
Sometimes, up to 6 months can go by from the time of infection until the HIV test turns out positive.

Medical combination treatment
The idea with medical combination treatment of HIV is that the substances intended to destroy the virus enters the virus and prevents it from propagating. The HIV virus can mutate - which means that it can alter something in its own construction which will lead to the virus being able to propagate despite the presence of substances trying to prevent it. In other words, the HIV virus is capable of making chromosomal changes making it resistant to the (combination) treatment.


General advice on disease prevention and a healthy lifestyle can be found in the library article "General Advice - for healthy as well as for ill ones" in the VitaHealth section under Focus Articles. You can also test your health by taking our "Health Check".

The goal for HIV-positive people must be to delay a possible development towards AIDS. This can be achieved by focusing on optimal nutrition, on a healthy lifestyle, and on strengthening your immune functions - by taking immunostimulatory antioxidants, for example.

It is important for an HIV-positive person to:
  • Remove mental and physical strains.
  • Have a well-functioning digestive system and achieve a good absorption of nutrients.
  • Stabilize and improve the immune system and rebuild immunity.
  • Strengthen your antioxidant defence - the defence against free radicals - and slow down the breakdown of healthy cells.
  • Strengthen the hormonal system since almost all hormone-producing glands can be affected by the HIV infection.
  • Avoid infections - e.g. herpes outbreaks.
  • Control the production of HIV virus.
  • Choose methods that can limit the side effects of medicinal treatment.
  • Strengthen the different bodily functions with beneficial substances.
A healthy lifestyle can therefore consist of:
  • Stress-reduction like relaxation, rest, and meditation (also see "Stress".)
  • An optimal and preventive diet consisting of lots of fibres, vegetables, fruits, fish, plant oils, and proteins - avoid sugar, white bread, and stimulants.
  • Avoiding saturated fatty acids, animal fat, stir-fry, etc. Fry in olive oil or butter.
  • A knowledge of a possible intolerance or allergy towards certain foods (e.g. dairy products, gluten, fungi, etc.).
  • Plenty of pure drinking water - between 1½ and 2 litres a day.
  • Avoiding passive and active smoking (also see "Smoking".)
  • Detoxification of the kidneys, liver, biliary passages, blood, and digestive system.
  • Oral hygiene - if possible amalgam removal.
  • Regular, moderate exercise like hiking, stretch exercises, and gymnastics for at least 1 hour a day.
  • Cleansing of old, mental "patterns" blocking away happiness, self-respect, and quality of life.
  • A good body awareness and contact to your "inner voice"/intuition.
  • Taking antioxidants and dietary supplements since being HIV positive often equals being deficient in vitamins, minerals, etc.

    It has been established that HIV positive people have a 40% larger nutritional need than others because of nutritional deficiencies and because the body uses a lot of energy fighting off the virus. Large deficiencies can especially be seen in regard to betacarotene, vitamin E, co-enzyme Q10, and essential fatty acids which is probably a result of a poor absorption of nutrients.

    Since the gastro-intestinal system often does not function as well in HIV-positive people, it can be beneficial to strengthen it and to supplement with the most important nutrients. These nutrients which function as building stones for the immune system are therefore being used in excess. It is therefore important for HIV-positive people to avoid diarrhoea and weight loss.

    A large consumption of sugar requires use of potassium, magnesium, and calcium which leads to weakening of the body and a reduction in the production of energy. This means that sugar can cause tiredness and exhaustion. Sugar should by all means be avoided since it suppresses the immune defence, feeds fungal infections and other harmful intestinal bacteria, it can provoke stress reactions, and cause blood sugar problems and take up the space in the stomach instead of nutritious food.

    Alcohol is also a kind of sugar and should likewise be avoided as studies have shown that it promotes the spreading of HIV virus in the body.

    For restitution of the gastro-intestinal system, it can be beneficial to take Acidophilus and Bifidus which are natural and necessary intestinal bacteria; lactic acid bacteria and enzymes improve digestion and the utilization of the important nutrients in the food.

    If you need cheap remedies for normalizing the intestinal flora, fenugreek and flaxseed can be used. The spices chili, garlic, ginger, paprika, horseradish, and turmeric stimulate the gastric acid production and protect the immune system.

    Viral infections inhibit the transformation of fats. It might therefore be necessary to supplement the diet with Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which can be found in Evening primrose, Borage, blackcurrant kernels, and fish oil. Seaweed in small amounts - boiled or roasted in food or as tablets, capsules, or powder - contributes to the excretion of heavy metals and radioactivity, protects against radiation damages, and supplies the body with trace minerals.

    Since HIV-positive people often have lower-than-normal levels of the vitamins A, -B, and -E and selenium, it is recommended to take dietary supplements containing these substances. Betacarotene which can be found in dark green vegetables and has proved to be able to increase the number of T-helper cells.

    The antioxidant Quercetin which should be taken together with vitamin E has proved to have a powerful anti-HIV effect. Alpha lipoic acid and Glutathione can increase the level of the beneficial vitamin C in the body by 90% and 100%, respectively. HIV breaks down Glutathione in the cells. Several studies have shown that an increased level of Glutathione can prevent the HIV infection from developing into more serious conditions. The amino acid Glutamine strengthen the intestinal system and helps rebuild white blood cells.

    N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) which can be bought at the pharmacy as Mucomyst rebuilds the cells' content of the very important amino acid Glutathione which is being used during the HIV infection. NAC has a powerful effect in maintaining health.

    In case of an HIV infection, large amounts of free radicals can be found in the blood as a result of the way the immune system attacks its enemies. These free radicals are troublesome because they steal electrons from other healthy cells meant for the body's maintenance work.

    One of the very important antioxidants that are being used to prevent the problem is called glutathione. There are more and more indications originating from laboratories that a lack of glutathione and large amounts of free radicals cause increased cell death. Normal cell death in lymphocytes is about 9.5% in healthy people. In people that are HIV positive, it is approx. 30.1%. In numerous studies, it has been established that the amount of glutathione in the blood is directly related to the ability to survive an HIV infection.

    The thymus gland which is the most important organ in relation to the immune system can be increased by consumption of thymic extract which can result in an increase in the number of T-helper cells and a general strengthening of the immune system.

    The vitamin/herbal product Livdetox is an example of a very effective liver detoxification drug which originate from an ayurvedic (old Indian) recipe: vitamin B3, choline, inositol, betaine, lecithin, dandelion, turmeric, milk thistle, and powdered artichoke leaves.

    Olives are a natural protease inhibitor. Protease inhibitors are used in the new combination treatment because it inhibits the special HIV enzymes in the HIV virus which the virus needs in order to propagate. Marihuana has proven to be beneficial in case of loss of appetite.

    An easy, cheap, and effective garlic cure against bacteria, diarrhoea, fungi, herpes, intestinal inflammation, parasites, vira, and worms: At bedtime, take a clove of garlic and cut small cuts in it with a knife. Then dip it in cold-pressed olive oil and squeeze it gently into your anus. The beneficial substances in the garlic will be liberated to the bloodstream and provide a cleansing effect while you sleep.

    No matter if you are on medication or not, the mentioned substances and a healthy way of living is important. Research shows that vitamin E and the amino acid Carnitine can abate many of the harmful effects of the AZT treatment. Many of the side effects can be avoided by keeping your body in the best possible shape. You will be able to utilize the medication in a much better way and the beneficial substances mentioned above can prove important to the rebuilding of the immune system.

    Natural and unconventional methods for limiting HIV and its sequelae:
    • Acupuncture which can relieve many HIV-related sufferings.
    • Ayurvedic diagnosis, herbs, and oils.
    • Bach's flower remedies have a good effect on a negative state of mind.
    • Chinese medicine; diagnosing, acupuncture, herbs, etc.
    • Electronic functional analyses can be used to find nutritional deficiencies.
    • Homeopathy can be used for cleansing cures and against fungal infections, herpes, etc.
    • Hyperthermia (warming of the body/blood).
    • Intestinal enemas have a cleansing effect.
    • Kinesiology can relive many relevant HIV sufferings.
    • Magnetism and electrostimulation can be used to destroy the surface proteins on HIV and thereby destroy the virus itself.
    • Meditation can be used to get into better contact with yourself, your intuition, and help you to relax.
    • Oxygen therapy, oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, ozone.
    • Urine therapy has a cleansing effect.
    • Visualization can be used to create improvement.
    • Yoga can create physical and mental balance.

      • Bitter melon has antiviral effects.
      • Carnivora is an extract of the carnivorous plant Venus Fly trap.
      • Dan shen root, Chinese sage herb.
      • Eissac herbal combination has a good effect on both cancer and HIV.
      • Hulda Clark parasite cure, kidney cure, and biliary/liver cure, herbs, and tinctures have cleansing effects.
      • Lomatium dissectum has a strong antiviral effect.
      • Olive leaf extract has antiviral effects and is good against herpes.
      • Snakegourd, Trichosanthes kirilowii (Chinese herb) is a constituent in compound Q.
      • X40 herbal combination.

        Has antiviral effects:
        • Ling Chi.
        • Maitake in food or as an extract: 10 drops twice a day.
        • Shiitake in food or as an extract.

          Other things:
          • Aloe vera for the skin and to promote digestion.
          • Bromelain, a pineapple enzyme which has the effect of a natural protease inhibitor.
          • Castor oil to be used in a compress.
          • Chlorophyll detoxifies the intestinal system.
          • Coconut oil contains the substance laurin which is transformed into monolaurin in the intestine. Monolaurin dissolves the surface proteins of the HIV virus and thereby counteracts the enrichment of virus.
          • Colloidal silver has an antiviral effect.
          • Colostrum, which is cow's milk from cows who have recently calved has proven to be effective against cryptosporidia.
          • DHEA is a hormone-like substance that regulates the hormone balance and strengthen the immune system. Many HIV-positive people are deficient in this substance.
          • DNCB is a chemical supposed to be smeared onto the skin in order to stimulate cell-mediated immunity.
          • EDTA chelation treatment. (See "EDTA".)
          • Grapefruit seed extract against fungal sufferings have a powerful antibiotic effect.
          • Melatonin, a hormone, has a powerful antioxidant effect and can provide you with a good night's sleep without sleeping medicine.
          • Naltrexone stimulates (among other things) the Natural Killer activity, it is immunomodulating, it freezes the CD4 cell count when the tendency is a descending curve, and it regulates the endorphines that signal to the immune system.
          • NK 911 strengthen the Natural Killer activity.
          • Pycnogenol, a bioflanonoid, has antiviral and bactericidal effects.
          • SPV-30 - a pill produced from the box tree has antiviral effect: 1 capsule 3 times a day between meals.
          • Whole lemon drink promotes digestion and has antiviral effects.

            If you do not feel up to any of these recommendations, then at least make sure to take a couple of proper vitamin pills every day. Sleep, exercise, and eat as healthily as possible. An HIV infection is still a chronic condition. It uses the vital reserves of the body. Contrary to other infections it makes you more vulnerable towards other infections. The more infections you are affected by, the more damaged your body will be, and the larger the production of the HIV virus will be.

            Relieving this viscious circle of disease with antioxidants and sensible use of medication can help the body to improve its immunity and to reduce the HIV virus and its damages. Hopefully, in this way you can prevent the virus from becoming the source of the actual disease (AIDS) and maybe lead the way for future recovery.

            Normally, the term recovery is meant in terms of extinction of the HIV virus. In this context, recovery means that you can expect to have a normal life-expectancy and a normal quality of life. This goal, however, seems to be reachable in purely theoretical terms only. Daily reports contradict each other in regards to whether or not complete extinction of the HIV virus is possible. In a number of people, it is possible to keep the virus down to a measurable level with new antiviral combination treatments which are being developed with great speed.

            There can be many reasons, however, for not giving up on the "natural" way of recreating balance, stopping degenerative processes and supplementing where there are nutritional deficits. This might be a necessary supplement to antiviral treatment and as a support system for regenerating the immune system. If full recovery is to be achieved in the future, this combination seems to be the safest one.

            In about 50% of the people who use conventional medical combination treatment, the treatment seems to have a good effect with a reduction in the level of virus and increased CD4 cell counts. Some people have to change treatment when things are looking good, others change treatment if their CD4 cell counts are not increased or their virus level is not significantly reduced, and again other might experience being resistant towards the treatment.

            The idea with medical combination treatment of the HIV virus is that the given remedies supposed to destroy the virus enter the HIV virus and inhibits its propagation. An HIV virus can mutate and change something in its own construction resulting in the virus being able to propagate despite the presence of substances trying to prevent it. This means that the virus is capable of making chromosomal changes which makes it resistant to the (combination) treatment.

            You can also read about "Amalgam removal - Mercury removal", "Candidiasis", "Coeliac disease", "Food allergy", "Food intolerance", "Herpes simplex", "Low blood sugar", "Mercury poisoning", "Parasite infection", "Smoking" and other relevant health problems here in the Health Problems category.

            Relevant herbs:
            • Astragalus root, Astragalus membranaceus. Use it as tincture or as powder in capsules - it is immunostimulatory and provides you with energy.
            • Cat's claw, Uncaria Tomentosa, has antiviral and bactericidal effects.
            • Clove, Eugenia caryphyllata: As a spice/powder in the form of capsules.
            • Garlic, Allium sativum: As a spice, tincture, or oil in capsules: 600 - 1000 mg. twice a day.
            • Ginger, Zingiber officinale: As a spice, as tea, or as tablets.
            • Green tea can prevent the HIV virus from propagating.
            • Horseradish, Amoracia rusticana: Grated as a spice in food or as tincture.
            • Liquorice root, Glycyrrhiza glabra: As a powder, as extract, and as tea: up to 3 g. a day - to be taken between meals (Glycyrrhizin is immunostimulatory, prevents liver damage, and strengthens the liver function).
            • Pau d'Arco, Tabebuia avellanedae: As tea, capsules, or tincture several times a day.
            • Pepper, Capsicum annuum: As a spice in food - has a warming and detoxicating effect.
            • Red chili/cayenne, Capsicum frutescens: As a spice or as powder in the form of capsules. Capsaicin has a detoxicating effect.
            • St. John's wort, Hypericum perforatum: Can be taken as an extract, tincture, or capsules. It has a powerful virostatic effect.
            • Thyme, Thymus vulgaris: As a spice, as a tea, and as an extract.
            • Turmeric root, Curcuma longa: As a spice or as powder in capsules 2 - 3 times a day.

              Amino acids:
              The "Daily consumption" is normally divided into two doses - one in the morning and one in the afternoon if nothing else is stated.
              • Arginine: 2 g. a day on an empty stomach - to be taken at bedtime.
              • Carnitine: 2 - 3 g. a day.
              • Glutathione: from 500 mg. a day increasing to 3 g. a day.
              • Lysine: Up to approx. 3000 mg. twice a day - if you are a carrier of the herpes virus.
              • Methionine: 1 - 3 g. a day - to be spread out over the day. You have to be aware of vitamin B deficiency, however, since methionine should always be taken together with plenty of vitamin B6 and folic acid (vitamin B9).

                Other dietary supplements:
                • Acidophilus/bifidus etc.: 2 - 6 capsules at every meal.
                • Alpha lipoic acid: 500 mg. - 2 g. a day.
                • Digestive enzymes: 2 - 4 capsules at every chief meal.
                • Liver Essentials: 1 tablet before every meal - especially if you are undergoing antiviral treatment.
                • N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC)/Mucomyst: 900 mg. 1 - 2 times a day. To be taken together with Glutamine and Methionine in the morning an in the evening on an empty stomach. (In case of AIDS: 1 g twice a day.)
                • Possibly Quercetin: 500 mg. - 2 g. a day.
                • Possibly Thymic extract.

                  Essential fatty acids (EFA):
                  Omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (EPA): Dosage: 1 - 4 capsules a day. You can find omega 3 fatty acids naturally in flaxseed, cod-liver oil, fatty fish, walnuts, rape, purslane, pumpkin seeds, green vegetables, and wheat germ.
                  1 tbsp. of cod-liver oil or 1 tsp. of ground flaxseed or walnut oil every morning is cheaper than fish oil capsules. If you want you can add a couple of vitamin E capsules to the flaxseed oil to avoid rancidity.

                  Omega 6 fatty acids (GLA): Dosage: 1 capsule a day. Omega 6 fatty acids can be found naturally in blackcurrants, borage, cold-pressed maize-, rape-, sesame, sunflower-, thistle-, and evening primrose oil, plus seeds.

                  An overwhelming amount of research shows that enzymes, trace elements, amino acids, fats, and other nutrients which protect against free radicals and thereby against the consequences of oxidative stress, have all been significantly broken down in the advanced stage of HIV infection. For this reason it is recommended to take larger doses of the releveant beneficial substances than is normally recommended.

                  Remedy Suggestion

                  Basic Care
                  • Multivitamin-minerals: “VitaUltra” - 4 tabl. Morning and 4 tabl. evening. Take with meals.
                  • Extra vitamin C: 1 tabl. “1 Gram C” morning and evening. Take with meals.
                  • Omega 3 essential fatty acids: 2 pcs. 1000 mg capsules daily with breakfast.

                  With immune deficiency and poor diegestion
                  • Extra vitamin E: 1 capsule “Natural Mixes Tcocpherol E-400” with breakfast.
                  • Extra magnesium: 2 tabl. “Magnesium citrate.” Take with dinner.
                  • Extra vitamin B12: 1 sublingual tablet - “Sulingual 1000” between meals.
                  • Extra alpha lipoic acid. 2 capsules "Alpha Lipoic Acid" a day.
                  • Coenzyme Q10: 3 tabl.100 mg “Co-Q10” a day.
                  • Lactic acid bacteria: 3 capsules morning and evening. Take with meals.
                  • Digestive enzymes: 2 capsules immediately after each main meal.
                  • Quercetin: Ca. 100 mg morning and evening. Take with meals.
                  • Liver detox (IMPORTANT: NOT with medicine): 1 tabl. “Livdetox” before every meal.


                  Your doctor can perform an HIV test on you if you suspect that you might be HIV-positive. HIV-positive people should be under supervision of a doctor. Always seek professional guidance.

                  Be careful with iron consumption. Large iron depots have been discovered in people in the advanced stage of AIDS. It has been discovered that some medications contain large amounts of iron. Consuming these will increase the amount of deposited iron and create harmful free radicals which can lead to diseases and possibly even more advanced stages of AIDS.

                  In case of AIDS

                  People with AIDS should always be under medical supervision. Always seek professional guidance. The warning about iron consumption are particularly important in advanced stages of AIDS. See above.


                  About Betacarotene for smokers:
                  There are different perceptions; some studies indicate that synthetic betacarotene can increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers but most studies claim that the opposite is the case.
                  For this reason, smokers are recommended to take natural betacarotene. For smokers who are unsure of the benefit of taking betacarotene, we recommend two glasses of freshly squeezed organic carrot juice a day.
                  (The study from the Cancer Prevention Study Group, 1994, concerning betacarotene (among other things) have been criticized for using dosages that were too low to have any effect on smokers. Dosages between 120 and 180 mg. a day would probably have had another outcome according to the Townsend Letter, 133-4:940-2, 1994).

                  Regarding vitamin C:
                  Some studies indicate that doses higher than 3 g. a day can weaken the lymphocyt function. If you want to be on the safe side, you can take 500 - 1000 mg. 3 times a day - or regulate the dose up and down until you get thin stools which will happen somewhere between taking 6 and 20 g. a day. There are doubts as to whether or not vitamin C as ascorbic acid can increase the risk of kidney stones in people who receive Indinavir treatment. If you smoke, you should only use acid-neutral vitamin C as normal ascorbic acid can increase your desire to smoke.

                  Regarding zinc:
                  This mineral should not be taken alone but only as a part of a well-balanced vitamin/mineral supplement.

                  A large consumption can increase blood pressure. It is therefore recommended to have your blood pressure measure regularly if you are planning on consuming the herb for a long period of time. You should not use liquorice root if you are pregnant, take diuretic medicine, suffer from elevated blood pressure, cardiac disease with a tendency to accumulation of fluid, severely reduced kidney function, chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis of the liver, or if you have a potassium deficiency or suffer from diseases with a reduced excretion of bile.
                  Since liquorice root can affect the effect of diuretics, blood pressure lowering medicine, heart medicine, and medicine containing adrenal cortex hormone, you should not use liquorice root if you are being treated with any of the preparations mentioned above.
                  You should not take liquorice root for more than 4 - 6 weeks since it influences the water-sodium balance. It is necessary to eat fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium when you take large amounts of liquorice root.

                  Arginine supplements should be avoided in case of herpes infections - See "Shingles - Herpes zoster" and "Lysine".

                  St. John's wort, Hypericum perforatum, can reduce the effect of some HIV medications by 50% and it is therefore advicable not to use St. John's wort products if you are being treated with combination treatment. Moreover, the herb can cause hypersensitivity to light.

                  HIV-positive people should pay attention to the fact that in relation to immunostimulatory remedies there are a distinction between remedies that strengthen the cellular- and the humoral immune system. In HIV-positive people it is a matter of strengthening the cellular immune system. If you strengthen the humoral one, the cellular one will be weakened. An example of this is the herb Cone flower, Echinacea, which is beneficial in acute infections but should not be taken at a daily basis since Cone flower strengthen the humoral system.

                  Remember that every kind of treatment is individual. You have to develop an ability to understand how your body is feeling while at the same time being subjected to laboratory tests which can provide you with a picture of your state of health. If you have doubts about something, you should consult your doctor.

                  In case of AIDS:
                  Remember that every kind of treatment is individual and through feeling how your body reacts to different treatments, you can consider if you think the benefits of the treatment compensates for the side effects it might have, and whether or not you can live with the side effects.

                  Also see "Diarrhoea and increased peristaltics", "Tiredness", and "Viral infection".

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