ARVs and PC1
You might wonder why another way to treat AIDS is needed when we have antiretroviral drugs for AIDS.
There are now many justifications to continue to engage in such an inquiry as ARVs (Anti-Retro-Viral drugs) have many downsides and limitations.
- ARVs are only available to a minority of those needing it in Africa
- ARVs can cause serious complications.
- ARVs have a limited life, for some people only a year before resistance develops, and the next ARVs are much more expensive, so having a second, even lower cost option seems eminently sensible.
- PC1 boosts immunity whereas ARVs kill the virus
- The two together will sometimes be better than either.
- And especially PC1 is helpful when ARVs are not found to work well.
More on ARVs
The reality is that although AIDS drugs have been around since 1996 three quarters of people in Africa who need them are not yet getting them. In the beginning a treatment with HAART (Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy) cost $20,000 per patient per year. After adjusting international law for patents it was possible to develop ARVs that would become affordable for Africa. The cheapest cocktail - containing stavudine, lamivudine and nevirapine - costs around $140 per year now. Still a lot of money considering that in the poorest African countries many only have 1 dollar a day to spend for food, clothes and shelter. The treatment including stavudine has become obsolete in the west because of the severe side-effects, but because of the low costs is still used in Africa.
The effect of HIV is that the immune system gradually breaks down. Once the number of available immune cells in the blood (white blood cells) decrease below a certain level, patients become vulnerable to all kinds of infections, the so-called opportunistic infections. In Africa ARVs are prescribed when the CD4 count (number of lymphocytes or T-helper cells) get below 200 cells per square millimetre.
One of the characteristics of HIV is that the virus reproduces in a sloppy way causing genetic variation. This causes relatively rapid resistance to the therapy. So a remedy that kept the virus under control, at some point might stop functioning. In 2007 there were 28 ARVs approved by the American Food and Drug Administration that all influence the reproduction of the virus at different levels. In the west there are AIDS-patients that have already used a dozen of different ARV combinations due to resistance. For Africa the first line treatment is far from being available to all needing it. The far more expensive second line, third line etcetera treatment can usually not be obtained, let be afforded. But these may be needed even a year after the first use of ARVs. Typically the increased life span may not be sufficient, for example to allow the children to be educated, grow up and leave home before their parents die.
Besides the changeability of the virus drug resistance is also caused when people stop taking their medication for a period. As soon as they stop taking the ARVs the virus starts reproducing again, and new strains may be created that do not respond to the previous medication. They may stop because they have no more drugs available, the clinic is too far to walk to, a day or more, because the side-effects are too hard to bare or because they feel better and think they can do without.
ARVs have lots of long-term side-effects. They are toxic to the kidneys and liver and influence processes inside the bodily cells. Metabolic side-effects are for instance lipodystrophy (destruction of fatty tissues) and diabetes mellitus. Taking pauses in the therapy (interval therapy) could prevent these side-effects, but is no option because it induces therapy resistance more rapidly.
For decades already it is known that suppressing infectious diseases by antibiotics in the case of bacteria, or antivirals in the case of viruses, ultimately cause the diseasing agent to become more virulent and malicious. The World Health Organisation warns against this, but the medical establishment sees no other options but killing the microbes that cause diseases. Healing systems like homeopathy that do not kill the bug but instead stimulate the immune system to control the disease by itself are a serious alternative, but the present medical paradigm that believes in suppression and is controlled by the stock market is not open to investigate other options.
From thousands of cases treated in different African countries the experience is that PC1 has the same effects clinically as antiretroviral drugs. It is much easier to administer and distribute and costs a fraction of even the cheapest ARVs. People usually get well very quickly on PC1. Since PC1 has no side-effects it can be taken before the CD4 count drops below 200 and antiretroviral drugs would be indicated. Patients already on ARVs only very slowly see their immune system recover. Where ARVs reduce the amount of viruses in the blood quickly the CD4 count initially even drops down further and then restores very slowly. With PC1 the immune system is restored much quicker, making a combination of ARVs plus PC1 a win-win situation.
For people using ARVs (HAART) and that suffer from side-effects a special PC Resonance has been developed called PC501h.