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What is HIV and what is AIDS?
By Dr. Mohan Shenoy

Why are these two diseases lumped together?
Is it necessary to make a distinction between the two?
Why shall we say 'HIV and AIDS' every time we name the diseases, and not say AIDS only, or HIV only?
         Since the disease is now managed illegally by non-medical personnel in the government and the NGOs who do not possess either the medical qualification or the license to practice medicine they follow the wrong advice given by the vested interest bodies.

        The patients suffer in the process.

        The medical profession prefers to remain silent because treatment of a patient for either HIV or AIDS is such a wasteful exercise.

        For all purposes, the non-medical personnel should be banned from giving medical advice to the population and only a registered medical practitioner and HIV specialist must be consulted for even the smallest detail regarding management of HIV positive patients.

        Now the campaign should be to educate the masses with the slogan 'It is entirely safe to mingle with a person who is HIV test positive'.

        He will not pass it on to another person without engaging in abnormal sex.

        Many experts of HIV and AIDS that work for the NGOs, do not wish to keep the two separate or make a distinction between the two because it helps the NGOs and the government agencies get monetary aid from the international and national drug companies that make AIDS drugs, the vested interest. Most of the sales of AIDS drugs are for HIV patients and very little for the AIDS patients.

        AIDS is a serious disease but HIV is symptomless and mild. HIV could be no disease at all. But the NGOs get their money from abroad on the basis of statistics regarding the HIV and AIDS disease in our country. Most of the sales of the drugs also depend upon how motivated are the patients with these NGOs and government agencies keeping the general citizenry on tenterhooks regarding AIDS and scare them to death about the whole thing.

        The symptoms such as diarrhoea and fever, given in the newspapers, magazine and TV advertisements for HIV and AIDS under the heading 'symptoms of HIV' are the symptoms of full blown HIV.  These symptoms are not seen in a person who is only HIV test positive.

        It does not make sense to mention these symptoms for HIV, because these symptoms are common in many diseases routinely seen in any clinic.  The symptoms of diarrhoea and fever are seen also in many non-HIV diseases.

        TB has been mentioned in the list specifically, because a larger percentage of the patients with TB are positive for HIV test, than in the general population.

        These patients are not necessarily patients of AIDS disease.  Only if these patients had an HIV positive test prior to developing the TB will they be considered to have got the TB as a complication of the AIDS disease and not otherwise.  Most often the TB patients never had an HIV test done before.  TB has been in the world since millions of years, but AIDS has been described as recently as 20 years ago.  We have a lot of misgivings about AIDS.

        The care-givers overlook the fact that these TB patients may not be suffering from AIDS, but they are only HIV test positive.  These are the patients who will not get loving care by the doctors and nurses due to the scare created by the media and governmental and non-governmental organisations regarding AIDS and HIV.

        These patients die of TB because they are treated primarily for their HIV positivity and TB treatment is relegated aside.

        Because the patients and the care-givers have been told that these patients are going to die anyway, they are given the toxic anti-retroviral drugs in full doses without their viral count or the CD4 cell count being done to determine if they need these drugs.  They are sentenced to death by slow neglect.

        The care and treatment of HIV positive status and of AIDS disease are complex.  Since the disease is now managed illegally by non-medical personnel in the government and the NGOs who do not possess either the medical qualification or the license to practice medicine they follow the wrong advice given by the vested interest bodies.

        There is a vast amount of confusing and unsolicited advice from the vested interest bodies to the doctors.

        The doctors have not developed expertise in managing HIV/AIDS generally, and prefer to refer the patient to government clinics.There is a lot of confusion about the condom being effective to prevent HIV/AIDS. Previously every notice and advertisement used to recommend condoms as useful to prevent HIV/AIDS.

        But now these notices and advertisements do not include condom in the list of measures in "Prevention of HIV/AIDS"

        We notice that recently there has been no advertisements in the TV for use of condom to protect oneself from HIV.

        The campaign managers for prevention and elimination of HIV/AIDS in the country have now realised that condoms are of no use in the prevention of HIV/AIDS. The condom is useless in the prevention of HIV/AIDS for many reasons. But I have not seen any notice or advertisement mentioning that 'hey, we are sorry that we made such a fuss about the use of condom to prevent the deadly disease AIDS, but you know what, the use of condom does not protect one from HIV.'

        Condom gives a false sense of protection because the HIV virus is said to be present not only in the semen but also in the pre-play fluids.  Pre-play is impossible after condom is worn.

        Also the anti-sperm chemical in the condom surface is not fully investigated if it can cause premature delivery.  Why is premature delivery more common these days, does any one know?

        Can the more common use of condom be responsible? One has to go and see the patients in the AIDS ward of a hospital to know who is being treated there. I will not be surprised if one sees only the HIV test positive patients and not those with symptoms of AIDS.

        As soon as it is announced that a person is HIV positive even his close relatives will shun him although he is perfectly normal in all respects. This is the result of the alarm created in respect of HIV and it is a criminal conspiracy implemented by the promoters of HIV test kits and drugs.

        There will soon be many retractions from the recommended measures to combat AIDS as time goes by like what is happening with regards to the condom.  Like condom many of the other measures recommended for AIDS will slowly disappear as the promoters are not interested anymore in further expansion of the market.

        They have realized that the market is already tearing at the seams. Ultimately the people will realise that they have been handsomely fooled. There are wide gaps between the figures given by the UN bodies and our Department of Health investigators in India, of the reported deaths due to AIDS disease. The figures given by our Health Department are not so alarming as it is made out to be by the UN bodies.

        Statistical studies and findings of honest researchers is refuted by influential and powerful foreign lobbies. The UN and other International Health bodies and vested interest agencies insist that the HIV tests be performed regularly on everyone. They project that unless HIV test is conducted to detect the anti-bodies the people can not contain the spread of the disease. Also it is projected that any one who is HIV test positive must be given full course of treatment. No mention is made about the need for the evaluation tests(ET) like the viral count or CD4 cell count.

        The anti-retroviral drugs used to treat HIV and AIDS quickly fail because of the virus develops resistance, easily and speedily. The drugs are immensely expensive.  These facts are not revealed to the general public. Toxicity of the drugs and side-effects are also played down.

        The evaluation tests (ET) viz. the viral count and the CD4 cell count are useful in the management of AIDS.   When the viral count is sufficiently high in the blood and the CD4 cell count is near zero then the patient has developed AIDS.  If such a patient dies with or without complications then the cause of death is AIDS.

        If on the other hand the ETs are normal then the patient has died of the accompanying non-HIV disease.  It is that simple.  But the ETs are expensive and very difficult to perform even in the hands of experts.

        But they are not entirely inconsistent or unreliable.

        For the millions and millions of Indians who will never be HIV positive in spite of normal sexual practices there is no fear of AIDS.

        As far as pre-testing the blood for transfusion with HIV test, there can not be an argument, as other tests like for syphilis and hepatitis are routinely conducted.

        But treating a HIV positive but AIDS negative pregnant woman with the ART is questionable until further studies are conducted as to the side-effects on the newborn.

Opinion expressed in this article is Dr. Shenoy's alone.