THE old story of HIV/AIDS told of the virus entering the body, attacking white blood cells, causing a drop in CD4 count, rise in HIV, increase in opportunistic infections and death.
The new story is more complex and needs to be clearly understood. HIV enters the lymph system and blood, attacks and causes breakdown of gut lining, slows absorption of nutrients, water and salts and changes the water-salt balance.
HIV slows the replenishment and nourishment of cells and tissues, allows entry of waste and HIV into the blood / brain, slowly depletes supplies of protein and glucose and causes a change in the pH of body tissues.
The body is saved if the virus is stopped in the blood and lymph system. Then the attack on the gut lining will cease, giving the gut lining the chance to partly mend and allow restoration of nutrients, salts, water to body systems through the blood. A water-salt balance will be restored. The body returns partly to normal with strict adherence to the ARV regime of treatment.
The HIV will still remain in the lymph hiding places of the spleen, thymus, long bones and lymph nodes. If the sufferer is taking ARV and stops, there will be a massive outpouring of the virus from hiding places and the sufferer will die. A partly mended gut will be obliterated for a second fatal time. Viral waste will flood again into the blood and brain. The sufferer will not survive.
But the sufferer can live long with peace, love, no stress, clean water, nutritious food that will build up the body by absorption through the gut lining, exercise with no smoking and no drinking alcohol.
Meat diet will bring harmful bacteria to damage the blood. Fruit and vegetables will bring helpful bacteria that will not harm the body through the damaged gut lining. So a non-harmful bacteria colony in the gut will keep the body safe for a number of years.
Positive Living can help the sufferer to live a healthy life for 10-12 years. If the world can not afford free ARV, then sufferers and families have to settle for a life span of 10-12 years. It is a matter of what can be afforded at a national or international level.
PLWHA of nations can no longer bully their Government into supplying ARV as we saw in South Africa a decade ago. The Mbeki government did not have its act together at the time. All they talked about was nutrition.
PNG can talk on a holistic concept of Positive Living. Those living with HIV and AIDS will have a total way of life to go on with - ARV or no ARV. Their life span will be reduced compared to those on ARV. But they will live.
During the Black Death of the Middle Ages, families infected on Monday were dead by Friday. We count our blessings.