AIDS: A Holistic Diseas

William Martinez William.Martinez at dartmouth.edu
Fri Mar 29 13:06:54 EST 1996

AIDS:  A Holistic Approach to a Holistic Disease
By:  William Martinez, Dartmouth College, 2913 Hinman, Hanover NH 03755
E-mail: William.Martinez at Dartmouth.edu
Presented on to:  Professor DeMaggio, Biology 7 Class (Holistic 
Medicine), 3/8/96

[This article may be copied and distributed freely, provided that it not 
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Disclaimer:  The information offered in this artlicle is not intended as 
and should not be construed as medical advice.  it is presented for 
informational purposes only.

	AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is a compilation of over 30 
previously known diseases that in the presence of HIV (human 
immune-deficiency viruses) are now called AIDS.  In 1984, Dr. Robert 
Gallo, of National Institute of Health and the National Secretary of 
Health, Margaret Heckler, announced that the probable cause of AIDS had 
been discovered.  Instantly, HIV became known as the cause of AIDS.  HIV 
infection is supposed to result in the depletion of a specific immune 
cell, CD4 T-cells.  When T4-cells decline, the body¹s immune system is 
weakened, and it  no longer can protect itself against microbes which 
would otherwise be easily manageable by the body¹s defenses.  After more 
than a decade of research, it is still unknown how HIV causes the 
destruction of T-cells (Brown, 1992).  In recent years, HIV has come 
under attack by an increasing number of scientists who claim that HIV is 
not necessary or sufficient to cause AIDS.  Many scientists including 
Luc Montagnier, co-discover of HIV, have stated the necessity of 
cofactors for HIV to cause disease (Maddux, 1992; Null, 1995).  Their 
works imply that HIV alone cannot cause AIDS.  A study due to be 
released this spring in the Journal of AIDS and Human Retrovirology,  
finds that HHV-6 (Human Herpes Virus - 6) has a high correlation with 
AIDS and is capable of destroying the immune system more efficiently 
than HIV(Berkowitz, 1996; Ostrom, 1995a).  Virologist Peter Duesberg, 
from the University of California, Berkeley and member of  the National 
Academy of Sciences, has published numerous articles that prove that HIV 
alone cannot cause AIDS (Duesberg, 1991; Duesberg, 1992; Duesberg, 
1994).  The HIV=AIDS=Death disease model is overly simplistic and 
reductionistic.  It has been a complete failure in terms of treatment 
and has not saved a single AIDS patient.  It is more likely that AIDS is 
a multi-factorial and  holistic disease.  Such a hypothesis has been 
introduced by Dr.  Robert S.  Root-Bernstein, from Michigan State 
University and others (Bernstein, 1993; Null, 1995).   It would follow 
that if AIDS is multi-factorial and holistic that the treatment of AIDS 
should also be holistic.  
	AIDS is a disease brought on by many factors that contribute to the 
depletion of the immune system (Bernstein, 1993).  It is only after the 
immune system is weakened by these other factors that HIV and other 
viruses (i.e.  Cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr, Human Herpes Virus-6...) 
can cause damage.  In order to identify the factors that contribute to 
immune depletion we must look at who gets AIDS and what differentiates 
them from the rest of society.
	Since AIDS was first identified in the early 1980s,  it has remained 
prevalent in the same segments of the population:  a subgroup of 
homosexual men, IV drug users, and hemophiliacs (CDC, 1989; CDC, 1995).   
Despite predictions to the contrary, AIDS has remained most prevalent in 
these risk groups and has had a minimal effect on the rest of the 
population (CDC, 1989; CDC 1995).  
	The largest risk group for AIDS is a subgroup of homosexual men (CDC, 
1995).  This subgroup of homosexual men who get AIDS is very different 
from other homosexuals and the rest of society.  Several factors are 
contributing to their immune suppression.
	These men are often very promiscuous and have unprotected sex with many 
partners.   The act of anal sex alone can cause immune suppression 
(Mavligit et al., 1984; Sites et al., 1975).  Cuts in the anal wall 
usually occur and allow semen a direct route into the blood stream.   
The foreign proteins and cells contained in the semen result in immune 
suppression (Mavligit et al., 1984; Sites et al., 1975).  The effect is 
magnified by having multiple partners in a single night, which is not 
uncommon for homosexual men who frequent bath houses and other similiar 
establishments.   Bath houses are often gathering places where a group 
of homosexual men get together for the purpose of having sex.  Sexual 
partners are exchanged frequently and often anonymously.
	These promiscuous homosexual men often contract many sexually 
transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, hepatitis, 
parasitic infections, etc (Bernstein, 1993).  These men are infected 
multiple times and are given stronger and stronger doses on antibiotics 
to combat their recurring infections.  Often they are also taking 
antibiotics when they are healthy as a preventive measure (Pifer et al, 
1987).  These antibiotics are taxing their immune systems and can be 
converted into carcinogens when taken in conjunction with certain 
aphrodisiac drugs, such as amyl nitrates (Brambilla, 1985).  Medications 
taken for common homosexual parasitic infections have also been shown to 
be immune suppressive (Bernstein, 1993;  Ferrante et al., 1984; Yardley 
et al., 1980).

	Amyl nitrates, ³poppers²,  are used almost exclusively by promiscuous 
homosexual men to facilitate anal intercourse (Lauritsen, 1995; Newell 
et al., 1985).  Amyl nitrates are mutagenic and carcinogenic and have 
been linked to Kaposi¹s Sarcoma, a prevalent cancer in many homosexual 
AIDS patients (Mirvish et al., 1987).  Homosexuals using amyl nitrate 
are also likely to be using other recreational drugs which may be 
contributing to their immune suppression (Lauritsen, 1995; Darrow et 
al., 1987).
	The diets of these men are usually very unhealthy as well.   This is 
typically the case with individuals who abuse drugs.  Drug abusers tend 
to have a diet high in sugar, processed foods, and artificial stimulants 
such as caffeine and deficiencies in some essential vitamins and 
	Being homosexual also brings with it an inherent emotional stress not 
present in the heterosexual community.  Homosexuality is viewed as 
immoral by many Christian groups and homosexuals often have trouble 
being accepted in society (Lauritsen, 1995).  This can often lead to 
feelings of inadequacy and guilt.  Emotional stress can have a very 
detrimental effect on the immune system (Seligman, 1990).
	All these factors contribute toward immune suppression in these men.  
Considered separately these factors may be incapable of causing the type 
of immune suppression present in most AIDS patients, but when considered 
in combination over an extended period of time it becomes possible to 
produce a severe immune deficiency, AIDS.  However, monogamous 
homosexual men who practice safe sex and do not use drugs do not get 
AIDS despite their HIV status (Bernstein, 1990).
	Intravenous drug users (IVDUs) make up the second largest group of AIDS 
patients (CDC, 1995).  The immune suppression in these individuals is 
easily explained.  Long term use of psychoactive drugs, such as LSD, 
heroin, cocaine, etc..., has been known to cause severe immune 
suppression (Byrant et al., 1992).  The classic IVDU with AIDS suffers 
from emaciation, or wasting, and one or more lung diseases such as 
Pneumocystis carnii  pneumonia and tuberculosis (Lauritsen, 1995).  The 
classic profile of a heroin addict is also emaciation and lung disease 
(Lauritsen, 1995).  The same heroin addict with HIV, is now classified 
as an AIDS patient.  Treatment is focused on HIV instead of the real 
cause of immune suppression, the drug addiction.  As stated earlier, 
drug addicts tend to have very unhealthy diets and may suffer from 
malnutrition, another known cause of immune suppression.   Like 
homosexuals, they may also suffer from emotional stress that inhibits 
immune function (Seligman, 1990).  Individuals often turn to drugs to 
deal with severe emotional stress.  By sharing needles, IVDUs can spread 
a wide variety of infections not limited to HIV (Horburgh et al., 1989).

	These two risk groups, homosexual men and IVDUs,  account for about 90% 
of all AIDS cases in the United States (CDC, 1995).  The remaining 10% 
of AIDS cases are hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients (who have many 
long-established factors contributing to immune suppression regardless 
of HIV status) and the general population.  Most AIDS cases among 
individuals in the gerenal population are seen in  AZT (and other 
nucleoside analogues such as:  ddC and ddI) recipients (Bernstein, 1993; 
CDC, 1995; Duesberg, 1992; Lauritsen, 1995).  These chemotherapeutic 
agents are highly toxic and extremely immune suppressant (Duesberg, 
1992; Lauritsen, 1987; Lauritsen, 1995).
	Once the immune system is severely weakened by a combination of 
factors, viruses especially HHV-6 (Human Herpes Virus-6) can cause 
further damage sending the patient deeper into immune suppression (Lusso 
et al, 1995).  HHV-6 is normally kept inactive by the body¹s defenses, 
but when the immune system is severely compromised then HHV-6 becomes 
active and has been shown to kill T cells directly; something HIV has 
never been shown to do (Berkowitz, 1996; Lusso et al., 1991b).  HHV-6 
also predisposes immune cells to HIV infection by causing them to 
secrete the cell surface protein CD4 and transforming these cells into 
T4-cells (Lusso et al., 1991a).  HIV attaches to the CD4 proteins of 
cells in order to infect them.   There is significant research led by 
Dr.  Konnie Knox and Dr.  Donald Carrigan that HHV-6 is, according to 
Knox, responsible for ³most or much of the damage done to the immune 
system (Berkowitz, 1996).²  They speculate that HHV-6 remains inactive 
in the body until HIV activates the virus causing immune collapse 
(Berkowitz, 1996; Ostrom, 1995b).  The mode of activation is unknown.  I 
consider it more likely that the immune system is compromised by the 
factors discussed earlier and that HHV-6, which is present in the 
majority (about 90%) of the U.S.  Population, becomes active after the 
immune system is compromised.  The virus adds insult to injury by 
perpetuating the immune collapse already taking place.

	Once the immune system is suppressed by the lifestyle factors and then 
further suppressed by HHV-6 and/or HIV, the body can no longer protect 
itself against otherwise harmless microbes.   Opportunistic infections 
occur which can ultimately lead to death.   There seems to be a 
correlation between the lifestyle factors of AIDS patients and the 
opportunistic infections they contract (Duesberg, 1992).  Homosexual 
male AIDS patients die more frequently of Kaposi¹s sarcoma which, as 
mentioned earlier, has been linked to use of amyl nitrate (Duesberg, 
1992).   Intravenous drug using AIDS patients die more frequently of 
opportunistic lung diseases which, as mentioned earlier, have been 
linked to the abuse of psychoactive drugs (Duesberg, 1992).   The 
orthodox medical treatment for this condition does not treat the 
lifestyle factors, the opportunistic infections, or rebuild the immune 
system, but instead treats the alleged cause of the immune suppression, 
HIV.  The standard treatment for HIV infection and AIDS is AZT.
	Treatment of HIV positive AIDS patients with AZT is illogical 
considering the extreme toxicity of the drug and the probability that 
HIV alone cannot cause AIDS (Duesberg, 1992; Lauritsen, 1987).  AZT may 
be causing AIDS in HIV positive individuals who are not in the classic 
risk groups, and it is contributing to the immune suppression of those 
who are considered already at risk (Duesberg, 1992; Lauritsen, 1995).    
The studies conducted by Burroughs-Wellcome (the manufacturer of AZT) 
and the NIH (National Institute of Health) that were presented for the 
FDA approval of the drug were flawed and have since been refuted by 
numerous other studies (Duesberg, 1992; Fischl et al., 1989; Lauritsen, 
1995; Lauritsen, 1992: Lauritsen, 1987; Richman et al., 1987).  AZT has 
been shown to kill healthy human cells as efficiently as it inhibits HIV 
(Duesberg, 1992).  AZT is capable of causing severe immune suppression, 
and the side effects of AZT use are often indistinguishable from AIDS 
(Duesberg, 1992).  Long term use of AZT can result in AIDS when used to 
treat asymptomatic HIV positive patients (Duesberg, 1992).  The side 
effects of AZT include:  severe anemia, headaches, nausea, muscular 
pain, cachexia, dementia, and wasting (Lauritsen, 1995; Null, 1995).  
Recently, AZT has been shown to promote HHV-6 activity (Berkowitz, 1996; 
Ostrom, 1995a).  AIDS journalist John Lauritsen describes AZT as, ³the 
most toxic drug ever prescribed for long term use (Lauritsen, 1995).²
	A more logical and rational treatment is a holistic approach which 
focuses on the rebuilding of the immune system regardless of cause(s) of 
its suppression.  Since one microbe cannot be identified as the sole 
cause of the immune collapse associated with AIDS, it is impossible to 
successfully treat AIDS by focusing on a single factor.  Successful 
treatment must address all the underlying causes of immune suppression.   
There are cases of advanced AIDS patients, near death, who have survived 
and have achieved full remission by adopting a holistic approach to 
health and disease (Campbell, 1989; Gavrer, 1988).
	The first step to any holistic approach to AIDS must be to forget the 
false HIV=AIDS=Death message that is so prevalent in our society.  AIDS 
and especially HIV are NOT  death sentences.  A patient who begins a 
holistic program in the early stages of the disease can reasonably 
consider the possibility of living a long, healthy life (Burton Goldberg 
Group, 1993a).  Attitude is the most important factor in healing.  
Without a positive attitude, treatments are not very effective.  A 
positive attitude stimulates the immune system while a negative attitude 
suppresses the immune system (Seligman, 1990).   Patients should 
consider seeking counseling to deal with the emotional stress of the 
	The second step must be to identify the health risks that contributed 
to a patients immune system collapse and then to eliminate those risk 
factors.  Promiscuous sex, overuse of antibiotics, drug abuse, AZT, 
hostile and emotional stress, environmental toxins, and malnutrition 
must be eliminated if the patient is to recover.  A simple outline for 
recovery is presented below.  I have added to the list provided by John 
	- Take charge of your own recovery
	- Break away from the AIDS death message
	- Adopt a holistic concept of health (sound mind and body)
	- Identify and eliminate all health risks.
	- Detoxify both mind and body:
		- no ³recreational² drugs
		- no cigarettes
		- no alcohol
		- no toxic medical drugs (like AZT)
	- Observe good nutrition:
	 	- Avoid sugar and caffeine
			- Avoid processed foods and saturated fats
			- Eat whole foods
			- Eat organic whenever possible
			- Incorporate nutritional supplementation
	- Exercise
	- Reduce stress
	- Get enough rest
	- Have faith that good health will return (Lauritsen, 1995).

This outline will establish an optimal biochemical environment for 
immune function.
	The third step in recovery is to treat the secondary  and opportunistic 
infections.  While the rebuilding of the immune system will help to 
combat and eliminate these infections, direct treatment is advantageous 
and necessary especially in the advanced stages of disease.  An advanced 
AIDS patient is likely to have active HHV-6 infection, causing severe 
damage to the immune system (Lusso et al., 1985).  Other microbes such 
as HIV, Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, Candida albicans, Pneumocystis 
carinii  may be active and causing disease.  Vitamin therapy (especially 
given intravenously), ozone therapy, acupuncture, and herbs have been 
shown to be extremely effective in treating these conditions (Burton 
Goldberg Group, 1993a).
	Nutritional supplementation has greatly benefitted many AIDS patients 
and is essential for recovery.  AIDS patients are commonly deficient in 
the following essential nutrients:  vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, 
selenium, and zinc (Burton Goldberg Group, 1993a; Null, 1995).  Because 
of their severely weakened immune systems, AIDS patients may need very 
high doses of certain vitamins.  It is then advantageous to administer 
the nutrients intravenously in an IV-nutrient drip.  High doses (over 50 
grams per day) of vitamin C administered intravenously have been shown 
to suppress the symptoms of disease and reduce the tendency for 
secondary infections (Blakeslee, 1985; Bouras, 1989; Cathcart, 1984).  
Vitamin C has extremely potent antiviral and immune enhancing properties 
at high doses (Blakeslee, 1995; Bouras, 1989; Cathcart, 1984).  High 
doses of other nutrients such as glutathione have shown similar effects.

	Ozone therapy, the introduction of highly reactive O3 molecules into 
the bloodstream, has demonstrated virucidal, bactericidal, fungicidal, 
anti-cancer, and immune enhancing  properties (Null, 1996).  Its 
capacity to kill the microbes that cause opportunistic infections while 
leaving the body¹s cells unharmed makes it a valuable tool in the 
treatment of AIDS  (Bocci, 1992, Bocci 1993-94).  Ozone therapy has been 
used to successfully treat herpes , hepatitis, Candida, cytomegalovirus, 
Epstein-Barr, HIV, and other AIDS related conditions (Null, 1996).  
Ozone therapy has received some attention lately for its ability to 
inactivate HIV and has also converted some patients from HIV positive to 
HIV negative (Carpendale, 1991a; Carpendale, 1991b).  While I can find 
no direct studies of the effects of ozone on HHV-6, ozone does 
inactivate similar viruses in the herpes family.  Ozone is a versatile 
molecule capable of treating many of the conditions commonly associated 
with AIDS.

	The use of herbal remedies in the treatment of AIDS is widespread.  
Some herbs are used for their immune enhancing effects while others are 
used for their direct antiviral and antibacterial effects.  Some of the 
more common herbs used in the treatment of AIDS include astragalus, 
echinacea, carnivora (extract of venus fly traps), licorice, and 
goldenseal (Burton Goldberg Group, 1993a).  Garlic, St.  John¹s Wort, 
and isatis root are used for their broad antiviral and antibacterial 
qualities (Burton Goldberg Group, 1993a).  Ginseng is used for its 
adaptogenic qualities and to resist stress.  Chinese bitter melon, 
monolaurin, and lentinan (extract of shitake mushrooms) have exhibited 
anti-HIV effects (Burton Goldberg Group, 1993a).  Herbs are often used 
in combinations to enhance their effects and herbal therapy is used as a 
compliment to many other therapies.
	Acupuncture has proven itself as an effective treatment in AIDS, 
especially when used in combination with herbal medicine (Orman et al., 
1992; Smith, 1988). Acupuncture relieves stress and stimulates the 
immune system.   Studies demonstrate an increase in immune function, 
white blood cell count, and T-cell production (Burton Goldberg Group, 
1993a).  Acupuncture has demonstrated effectiveness in the alleviation 
of symptoms related to AIDS (Orman et al., Smith, 1988).   Acupuncture 
has been extremely effective in treating drug addiction, a major source 
of immune suppression in many AIDS cases (Burton Goldberg Group, 1993b; 
Wen et al., 1973).
	Many factors, other than HIV, contribute to the immune collapse in AIDS 
patients.  While HIV may cause damage to the immune system after the 
immune system becomes compromised, it is not the cause of AIDS.  
Treatment of AIDS with extremely toxic drugs that target HIV is 
therefore irrational and counter productive.  AIDS is a holistic and 
multifactorial condition.  Successful treatment must address these 
factors and holistic health must be promoted within the body.  A 
holistic approach that incorporates the elimination of risk factors, the 
enhancement of the immune system, and the elimination of secondary and 
opportunistic infections offers the best chance for AIDS remission.    
The treatment like the disease must be multifactorial drawing on a 
variety of healing vectors.  Vitamin C has been shown to work well in 
conjunction with ozone therapy (Burton Goldberg Group, 1993a).  Herbal 
medicine has been shown to compliment nutritional supplementation and 
acupuncture (Orman, 1992).  By incorporating all these therapies into 
the treatment of AIDS the odds of survival would be greatly enhanced,  
more than by the use of one of the therapies in isolation.  


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This article is greatly indebted to the work of:  Peter Duesberg, John 
Lauritsen, Robert S.  Root-Bernstein, Neenyah Ostrum, Gary Null, Spin 
Magazine, and others too numerous to mention.  A great many thanks!  

³If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man 
as it is: Infinite.² - Willam Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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