By Wes Bennett
In 1989, at the age of nineteen, I was diagnosed HIV positive. I had gone to have the test done at the advice of a friend who had watched my health decline rapidly over the previous year. The two weeks waiting for my test results were an eternity of anxiety.
My state of health (mental and physical) at the time was not very good. I had been unemployed for a short time and had not been eating right or taking any measures to better my health. The day I received my test results, I weighed 125 pounds. Being six feet tall, I can only imagine how bad I must have looked. At the time, it looked as if I would live no more than a year, maybe two.
Over the next year, I battled with depression and numerous illnesses. I had a severe case of eczema that covered my whole body and lasted over six months and several bouts of what I can only describe now as severe bronchitis and respiratory infection.
I never had a doctor to diagnose this bronchitis, being unaware that I could receive any medical assistance. I knew that I certainly couldn't afford to see a doctor on my own. Friends took care of me on and off as best they knew how. I spent the next six months moving from one place to another and working at different odd jobs and had dropped out of college. It was too much to handle with all that was happening.
After some time had passed, I had to break down and tell my parents that I was dying. They were very understanding and supportive, but also emotionally devastated. I moved back home to live near my family. They helped me as much as they could with their love and support.
I was able to get state medical assistance after a doctor diagnosed me as
having AIDS. My T-cell count was below 200 and I'd had numerous infections. Immediately, my doctor started me on AZT, Bactrim, and Pentamidine inhalant treatments.
My health seemed to improve for a short time. My blood tests fluctuated and showed minimal signs of improvement. I did feel emotionally more stable and like maybe I might live a little longer than I thought. I became more interested in my own health care.
I wanted to know more and learn more about this disease and how they were
treating it. I asked my health care providers all the questions I could.
They answered all the questions they wanted to. When I inquired as to the side effects of all these pharmaceuticals I was putting into my body, I was told that I may experience some nausea and maybe some headaches. If I noticed any other things happening I should let them know. Well, that wasn't a good enough answer for me, nor a good response to the question I had asked.
They neglected to tell me that these chemicals they were using to try to
repair my damaged immune system were in themselves immune suppressing
substances. I didn't realize at the time, but later discovered that many people were dying simply because AZT had damaged their immune systems beyond repair.
The next time I got a fresh bottle of AZT, I kept and read the medical insert that accompanied it. I did the same with my other medications. I came to discover words like neurotoxicity.
When I looked into it, I found that neurotoxicity means "this will be toxic to your nervous system and/or your brain". I also discovered that I would experience possible kidney damage, liver damage, and numerous other side effects that I wasn't told about beforehand. I was upset and angry that these people who were supposed to be taking care of me were giving me these poisons.
They had no good explanation as to why they neglected to tell me these things.
My faith in the medical community began to fade. In the winter of ‘91, I had the opportunity to move to New York City and live with a friend. My health was not improving and I knew that I would probably never get this chance again. I moved, taking only clothes and a few boxes of necessities.
I continued on AZT for a few more months, but the nausea and weakness were really getting to me. I knew that there had to be a better way. Being in such a cultural center as NYC, I began to hear a lot on the debate of different effective treatments for HIV and AIDS. I kept seeing people dying left and right from things as simple as a cold. I remembered my mother, in her trying to deal with my illness, saying, "who knows, maybe you'll be one who is able to find a cure". Well, a cure was not something I thought myself capable of ....a successful means of treatment, maybe. A cure was the "magic bullet" that even the doctors and scientists could not come up with.I started researching for myself and started looking into alternative therapies. My doctor frowned upon this type of research.
Alternative therapies, after all, were "unproved" and not endorsed by the
medical community. Nevertheless, the more I looked, the more people were
living, and living a healthy life by using these "unproved" methods.
The more I researched, the more I came across references to "no FDA approval."
Well, I didn't need a medical license to see which group of people were living healthy and which group were slowly and painfully dying. I talked to people and read a couple of books on some basic but effective alternative therapies. These people were determined to live. They told me that if I wanted to live a long healthy life, it was going to be totally up to me, and they were right. I quit taking AZT when I came to the end of the last bottle.
My doctor advised against it and suggested that I stay with the "more proven" methods of treatment. I knew that the "more proven" methods my doctor referred to were not truly proven to do anything! I didn't see anyone living more than a couple of years beyond their initial diagnosis, if that long. Those who did live longer were emaciated and constantly sick and on numerous medications. That's not the quality of life I wanted to have. The medicines that they could offer me were, in my eyes, only experimental. If I was going to be a living experiment in the treatment of this disease, I was going to be the one to take responsibility for my life.
Since my decision to take my health care into my own hands, I have gained
forty five pounds (I now weigh 170 pounds).
I've seen an increase in my T-cell count (up to 500) and a year ago tested p24 antigen negative and my latest viral load test registered at "below detectable" levels! I did not test negative for the HIV antibodies, as antibodies often remain in your system even after an illness is gone.
Even though a person may not have an illness, their blood will still show
antibodies for that illness if they have ever been inoculated or had that
particular illness. Today, my health and quality of life are far more than I ever expected to see. I never expected to live this long when I first learned I had AIDS and if by some miracle I did live, I didn't expect to be this healthy.
I cannot take credit for all the miracles that happened with my health.
Even though the treatments that I use have been here on earth for millennia, I would not have found them if I had not asked God to show me the way. All I had to do was ask.
Unfortunately, most members of the medical community are not able to answer questions regarding alternative therapies. They are bound by the American Medical Association and the Food and Drug Administration to uphold the current research findings on all methods of treatment. Virtually no FDA approved research has been done on alternative therapies. Therefore, we have to rely on everyday people who have had success with these methods and doctors and scientists willing to tell the truth about the research they have initiated on their own.
Many people have asked me why the FDA will not approve the use of natural and alternative therapies. The answer is pretty simple. For a substance to be approved by the FDA for human consumption in this country, it must go through as much as $200 million (often more) worth of research first. Because you cannot patent a natural substance (vitamin C for example), there would be no way to make enough money on it to make it worth investigating.
The ugly truth is that pharmaceutical companies are in business to make money. If they weren't, they would be non-profit organizations!
As it is today, the pharmaceutical industry is a multi-billion dollar a year industry.
Why would they want to go and invest in a product they would lose money on?
That would hardly be a lucrative business tactic. Instead they have made
efforts to get around this in the last few years.
They are currently trying to make food supplements into "prescription only" items.
The way the patent laws work, a natural substance is not able to be patented; however, you can file for a "use patent" on any substance that is natural.
When someone holds a "use patent" on a substance it means that they have
researched and determined a certain "use" of the product. Therefore, in the last few years we have witnessed FDA officials go on television and proclaim "food supplements are dangerous in high doses and should be better regulated, because at present no regulation exists."
Some of these same high ranking FDA officials and a few other members of our government have purchased "use patents" on many of the best selling vitamins and supplements. They are waiting for the laws to pass making food supplements prescription only items. If you think this sounds far-fetched, this law was almost passed last year and several other times in the past! Thankfully it did not, but these people are still in power and are not going to let a few billion dollars get away.
They will try again.The following pages include the different methods of
treatment that I use. I have also included a short list of books that have
helped me along in my search for a better way. I do not suggest anyone to rush in to a method of health care they are not familiar with.
Before changing your current method of treatment, or starting on a new path of therapy, please do lots of research and understand fully the treatment methods you choose before you begin using them.
The following are methods of alternative therapies that have helped me to stay healthy. As with conventional medicine, not all methods work for all people.
Unfortunately some people are beyond the help of alternative therapies due to the extensive damage already done by conventional, immune suppressing drugs.
If you are currently on medication, take the time to study what you are
putting in your body, and ask your doctor if your prescription is an immune boosting or an immune suppressing chemical.
All of my chosen methods of treatment are immune boosting substances and
practices. Every immune suppressing substance that you put in your body is a step backward in your fight toward recovery. If your health care professional does not agree with this last statement, you need to ask yourself why!
(Permission is given to copy, print, and otherwise share the information
contained herein with others who seek information on natural methods of health care for the purpose of living a healthy, more productive life - provided the information is unchanged, is used in context, and includes credit to the original author(s) and their contact information (if available).)