The South African Health Minister restated her belief that
nutrition should be part of HIV AIDS treatment at the Durban
conference,June 7th . She says Anti-Retroviral drugs should not be the
sole remedy available and promoted by her Government. She promotes the
use of raw garlic,lemon peel,olive oil and beetroot to provide
essential micro-nutrients; this mix was developed by a nurse who has
worked with Hiv Aids patients since 1989, and has treated more than
40,000 patients since 1995. She claims that this mix can reverse the
status of patients from Aids to HIV positive. One woman claims to have
been on the diet for 3 years and found her CD4 count went from 55 to
134 and her general health improved greatly. A clinical trial by a
haemotologist found positive results, with viral loads of participants
decreasing and CD4 counts improved.
Anti -Retroviral drugs provided by pharmaceutical
companies with US government funding are also reported to achieve
positive results; in the South African Army for example,where 23% are
known to be Hiv Aids positive, ARV drugs have been administered to
1,000 soldiers and dependents over the last year. Infected members who
previously sat around bases hopelessly are now actively deployed on
border service. UN guidelines prevent them being deployed on
international peace keeping missions, in Burundi and Democratic
Republic of the Congo, but they are otherwise fully capable of all duty.
Traditional Healers in South Africa say that ARV drugs are
promoted by some organisations for commercial gain; others say that
these drugs have major negative side effects.
Meantime the overall infection rate in South Africa is
high, estimated at 5 million of a population of 45 million, with
a mortality of 300,000 last year. Government targets of having 185,000
under ARV treatment byMarch 2005 are far from being acheived with only
42,000 receiving treatment by official channels and another 60,000 by
the private sector.