The University of Waikato - Te Whare Wānanga o Waikato
Faculty of Science and Engineering - Te Mātauranga Pūtaiao me te Pūkaha
Waikato Home Waikato Home > Science & Engineering > BioBlog
Staff + Student Login

hiv & your immune system

HIV = Human Immunodeficiency Virus. And there's an extremely large volume of evidence supporting the hypothesis that infection with HIV generally leads to the development of AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). I say 'generally' because there is a very small subset of people (called 'elite suppressors') in whom this progression doesn't seem to happen. But in everyone else, the HIV virus targets & ultimately leads to the destruction of the immune system's CD4 cells, leaving patients vulnerable to opportunistic infections.

The only medical treatments available to AIDS patients involve a combination of anti-retroviral drugs that inhibit the virus's ability to reproduce & infect CD4 cells. Unfortunately these treatments are not as widely available as they could be in countries such as Africa, which have a high prevalence of HIV infections and patients with AIDS. Now it seems that a homeopathy practitioner is offering homeopathy as a treatment for African AIDS patients, claiming that it will achieve a cure (something that modern medicine can't offer) by stimulating the patients' immune systems.

Now (quite apart from the effectiveness of water or sugar pills on the immune system), how likely is this? And doesn't it sound like a good idea - stimulating the immune system in people with a minimal ability to mount an immune response to infections?

Well, no. And ERV does a good job of explaining why not.

| | Comments (0)
Share via Email Share this on Twitter Share this on Google+ Share this on Facebook

Leave a comment