It is not possible to begin to speak about the homeopathic treatment of AIDS before making certain distinctions between being classified as HIV+ and actually having symptoms of AIDS. In mainstream thinking

In general, the assumption has been that if a person is diagnosed as HIV positive, then sooner or later, the person will develop AIDS. It may be one or ten years, but it WILL happen. This assumption has defined the medical strategies of the profession, HIV+ people being encouraged to go on anti-viral therapy even when they have no symptoms. In earlier years, the line demarking treatment was when the white blood count went below the marker level of 200. However, this demarcation was not determined by medical knowledge but by the drug company that was marketing AZT, one of the first drugs given to AIDS patients. In later years, even this demarcation was not followed, with HIV+ people often being encouraged to begin treatment immediately.

However, there is simply no proof that all HIV+ people will get AIDS. There are many HIV+ people who are totally healthy and do not have any symptoms of AIDS. One reason for this is that the test for HIV only tests for antibodies, not whether the virus is active in the body. There are other factors that help determine the activity of the virus including the viral load and white blood count but then again, some people who have very high viral loads and low white blood count can remain healthy. These factors are not enough to determine the ability of the body to fight the virus. Antibodies only show that the body has come into contact with the virus, not that it is active in the body now.
The reason for making this distinction is also that the tragedy of the disease has been compounded by the stigma of being diagnosed HIV+ with the assumption that a positive diagnosis is equivalent to a death sentence. This was especially the case in the earlier years of the disease. As mentioned, the evidence never confirmed what many "experts" in the field were saying. It is simply not true that all people with HIV were getting the disease.

Therefore if someone is HIV+ the best thing they can do is embark on therapies that stimulate the immune system. As AIDS is an auto-immune disease, it is vital to ensure that the immunity of the person is at as high a level as possible. As homeopathy works exactly on that level in that it stimulates the immune system to maintain a higher level of health, it can be an important therapy to help maintain optimal health and prevent the symptoms of AIDS from developing. Given the potential seriousness of this disease, it is also important to explore all things that can help the body become stronger, be it diet, Acupuncture, psychotherapy and other mind/body techniques. However, the most important thing to remember is that being diagnosed HIV+ does not mean that a person will get AIDS. That belief alone can be enough to profoundly suppress the immune system.

As homeopathy works on treating the whole person, it is not necessary to be sick to be treated. The homeopath will consider factors such as the health history, emotional and physical constitution and other more general characteristics in determining the correct remedy. In using the metaphor of tuning an engine, the goal of homeopathy is to ensure that the machine of the body/mind of the person is functioning optimally. This is the best defense against any disease, including AIDS.

One of the most important things to understand is that the body can fight disease. It just needs to be working well. Modern medicine has become so obsessed at looking at the outer "causes" of disease ??? the bacteria, viruses etc that it has forgotten about the "terrain" of the body, how some people can remain healthy with the virus whilst others become sick. Homeopathy and all holistic therapies take the "terrain" or the "constitution" of the person into account when seeking what to do. This does not mean ignoring the virus or bacteria but seeking to understand the level of susceptibility of the person; in other words, how compromised is the immune system of the person.

It is true that in cases of AIDS, many people who have been most affected already had weak immune systems. The reasons for this are varied but include a history of many sexually transmitted diseases (STD's) with consequent antibiotic therapy, a history of suppressive conventional therapies ??? steroids, antibiotics etc, blood transfusions and general malnutrition. Therefore, the impact of the virus has something to do with the "host" body and the quality of the constitution of the body. It is this history that homeopathy is interested in and homeopathic treatment can help address the consequence of some of these factors.

In cases where a HIV+ diagnosis has been made but the person is asymptomatic the success of homeopathy will be determined partly on the inherent strength of the constitution and the willingness and ability of the patient to take on a regime of holistic treatment for a period of time to strengthen the immune system. Also, it should be noted that it is possible for the virus to disappear and for subsequent HIV tests to show that there is no sign of the virus in the body.

If a person chooses to do anti-viral therapy, it is still possible for homeopathic treatment to be initiated. Homeopathy can be used along with conventional treatment. The use of anti-viral therapy has always been controversial. This was especially the case with the earlier treatments such as AZT, a former cancer drug adopted for AIDS. Many of the clinical trials of this drug showed serious liver toxicity and had to be discontinued as a result. However, in spite of this, the drug was still adopted for treatment, mainly because the medical profession didn't have anything at the time and when the most acute AIDS cases were being seen. However, more effective treatments have now been found and are being hailed as life-savers to many people with AIDS. Whilst not wanting to dismiss this completely, there are other factors to be considered, including the fact that we are seeing a disease that is already evolving from an acute disease that would kill people quickly to becoming a more chronic condition (at least in western countries). This evolution of disease expression has been seen before in history, including that of Syphilis in the 15th and 16th centuries. One of the tragedies of the disease when first being seen in the 1980's is that people were also dying of the affects of the drug therapy. Sometimes it was hard to know what people were dying of. Today, the drugs used do not seem to show such extreme reactions and are no doubt helping many people. However, before choosing to do drug therapy, it is important to question all the factors involved and specifically to ask oneself and also holistic health consultants about one's overall level of health, looking at the health history and other constitutional factors. It is important to know about the consequences of all major health events in one's life when looking at one's choices.

Some writer's including homeopaths, have made a connection between a history of syphilis and it's suppression with antibiotics with the development of AIDS conditions. In homeopathy, there is a conviction that some conventional treatments, including antibiotics do not cure conditions, but suppress them into the body, with deeper more serious conditions developing as a result. This has been seen clinically especially with the treatment of sexually transmitted diseases. In general, it is now being seen that the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics is having the consequence of suppressing the body's immune system, making the body more susceptible to other diseases. This is a big problem in medicine today, forcing people to try and reduce antibiotic use.

The broader concerns of immunosuppression in society are now being acknowledged by mainstream medicine, but the fact remains that most drug therapy does not address the issue of how to stimulate the body's natural immunity. Many drugs actually suppress immunity and therefore can compound a problem in the long run.

When AIDS symptoms are expressing themselves, then homeopathic treatment can still be effective, but should be done at the same time as other holistic treatments and perhaps with anti-viral therapy. One of the great challenges is that as homeopathy works with the body's own immune system to cure itself, it is hard to do this once the immune system is already seriously compromised. Holistic therapists are dealing with a very difficult situation and treatment has to be done on a regular and long-term basis. It is very hard to predict what will happen, and treatment may have to be changed frequently to deal with the new challenges that can arise. However, it is still imperative to do whatever one can to help the body's immune s system begin to recover and give the person as much chance as possible. As mentioned earlier there is no problem using homeopathy in conjunction with conventional anti-viral therapies.

One other more recent controversy has been the policy to treat pregnant mothers who are HIV+ with AZT to supposedly prevent the child being born with the virus. This has been controversial for some of the reasons mentioned above in that being HIV+ does not mean a person will get the disease and also the toxicity of the drug being used. There is evidence that this policy is also being manipulated by the medical industry and formula industry to curb the use of breast milk. Some women who have insisted to give their babies breast milk have found themselves in legal trouble.

The scientific evidence does not even support the idea that HIV+ mother's who breast feed their children are increasing risk of AIDS for the children. This controversy has been well reported about in Mothering Magazine and in the book "The Milk of Human Kindness ??? Defending breastfeeding from the global market and the AIDS industry", written by the International Women Count Network.

AIDS has been one of the most devastating diseases in the history of humanity and continues to be of huge impact in Africa and parts of Asia. Since its sudden explosion into the world at the end of the 1970's the disease has stirred huge debate as to how it was caused and spread. These questions are still being asked and there is some very uncomfortable evidence to suggest that it is a man made virus, created either in vaccine research with animal virus contamination or in US laboratories looking into viral causes of cancer and also in bio-warfare research. Whatever the cause, the fact remains that the disease and the virus causing it have shown extraordinary abilities to adapt and change, creating huge challenges for the medical industry and for those afflicted with the disease.

The Milk of Human Kindness