The New Promise of Antioxidant Therapy In Treating AIDS

antioxidant therapy

STI testing centers in California are now providing for tests to be ordered online for those who may be concerned about their privacy when getting tested for AIDS.

Not too many years ago now, we learned of a dreadful new and mysterious disease that threatened to wipe out humanity. Little was known about it, other than that it was rapidly spreading. Some projected that it would be killing us by the millions within a few short years. Fortunately, this has not happened, and a large part of the reason why it has not is that scientists led by Dr. Luc Montagnier of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, determined the cause of the disease we now call Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).

AIDS, formally recognized as a new disease back in 1981, is characterized as the breakdown of the body’s immune system due to selected cells in the immune system being changed. These changes result in defects in immune function that allow “opportunistic” infections (that healthy people normally fight off) to readily infect and, back in those days, quickly kill AIDS patients. In 1980, there were a few reports of certain diseases, such as rare cancers and serious infections, which normally don’t kill healthy people, leading to quick “wasting” of the patient and rapid death.

The Center for Disease Control established a task force that was led by Dr. James Curran. They sought to look for other cases of the mysterious illness and to learn what they could about these alarming new reports. The first confirmed case they found at that time was in 1978. These increasing reports were not recognized as a common disorder of the immune system until 1981. It was found that these patients had a depletion of certain white blood cells that play a critical role in defending against invading organisms. Later investigation has identified several other immune changes, but the depletion of these white blood cells has been related to AIDS ever since its first description.

Thanks to the research of Dr. Montagnier and his colleagues, the cause of this mysterious disease that behaved differently from normal viral or bacterial infections, was uncovered by 1983. As a result, most of us do not have to worry about this disease and we do not give much thought to Dr. Montagnier’s discovery. For example, you can receive a blood transfusion today and not have to worry about Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV), the AIDS virus, being transmitted to you in the blood you receive. Even those who are at risk due to behaviors and lifestyle owe a huge ‘thank you’ to Dr. Montagnier because the discovery of both HIV-1 and HIV-2 strains of virus that is the cause of AIDS has led to preventive measures that can protect those at high risk.

One factor that is huge in the progression of the AIDS virus is oxidative stress. There is a high free radical production in stage II of HIV infection, which could be caused by several factors. These factors include the overproduction of oxygen radicals. The key to effective treatment may lie in reducing oxidative stress at the earliest stage of HIV infection. Antioxidants could be used at this stage to prevent progression to AIDS. If the oxidative damage is slowed, then the progression may be slowed or halted.

Though the spread of antiretroviral treatment has improved the prognosis of those getting the drugs, the drugs are still unavailable to many, such as people in developing countries, which means that HIV/AIDS remains a killer for most sufferers. Although there is hope for many, there are still deep concerns, and the AIDS virus has been by no means cured. If you have been engaging in risky sexual or lifestyle behaviors, then no matter how healthy you feel, it is very important that you get tested immediately.