What Is AIDS

Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by a virus called Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).  AIDS is not something that you "get," rather you contract HIV and, as a possible result, can result in the later development of AIDS. The illness alters the immune system and makes people more susceptible to infections and diseases.  Because HIV/AIDS, as it is commonly referred to, is an immune disorder, it weakens the body's ability to fight threats.  An HIV positive person is more prone to such infections as the illness progresses.  People can be HIV positive, but don't get sick for years.  HIV/AIDS is something that can only be transmitted via blood-to-blood or sexual contact, i.e. an exchanging of these bodily fluids.  Additionally, pregnant women can transmit the virus to their babies during child birth. 

Signs Of AIDS

A lot of HIV positive people may not display or experience symptoms for years.  On the other hand, some people experience flu-like symptoms, which can last up to a month, two to six weeks after contracting the virus.  Someone with AIDS will only experience symptoms once his/her white blood cell count drops below 14%.  If you have HIV and get an opportunistic infection such as Pneumocystioc pneumonia (a lung infection), Kaposi's sarcoma (a skin cancer), Candida (a fungal infection near the throat or vagina), then you have AIDS.  Each individual case is different, but other AIDS symptoms are below:

  • Dramatic Weight Loss
  • Brain Tumors
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Joint Pain
  • Enlarged Glands
  • Weakness
  • Muscle Aching
What Causes AIDS

HIV is transmitted via sexual contact, blood-to-blood contact, childbirth, or breast-feeding.  The virus can be contracted during vaginal, anal, or oral sex if one partner is HIV positive.  Sharing needles can also lead to an HIV infection.  When the body is infected with HIV it begins producing special molecules, antibodies, to fight the infection.  If an HIV test finds these antibodies, then the person is considered HIV positive.  HIV slowly wears down the immune system and develops into AIDS.  HIV/AIDS is a person to person case.  People can die months after getting AIDS, but most go on to lead relatively normal lives.  

  • Vaginal, Anal, or Oral Sex
  • Sharing Needles
  • Breast-feeding
  • Childbirth
  • Blood Transfusions (this is rare given that American blood banks and hospitals screen blood for HIV antibodies)

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • Keeping a clean raw foods, vegan, or vegetarian diet greatly benefits those with HIV/AIDS.  Fruits and vegetables with anti-inflammatory properties help calm the immune system.  Mushrooms, coconut oil, dark leafy greens, and fermented foods such as kimchi or sauerkraut help benefit the immune system.  Avoiding processed foods, alcohol, sugar, salt, and greasy foods helps keep your body at a neutral pH level, which can help your immune system.
  • HIV/AIDS can cause problems to the gastrointestinal tract, where the majority of your immune system is.  Consuming probiotics helps reduce the chance of infection and inflammation.  Probiotics can even aid the gastrointestinal tract's proper function.
  • Minimize the amount of stress as this can put strain on your immune system, making it more difficult to fight off infections and other viruses.  A great way to decrease stress is to ensure you are getting a good amount of sleep.  Sleep is the body's way of recuperating and it's important to allow it do so.  Exercising can also help relieve the body of stress.  When you’re exercising, your focus is not on the stressful things life, rather you concentrate on the way you feel.  Tai Chi and Yoga are great examples of exercises that help to reduce the constant feeling of stress.
  • Optimize your vitamin D levels by consuming foods like mushrooms or fortified orange juice.  Take all natural vitamin D supplements and get sun exposure, but not too much because it can lead to skin cancer in an HIV positive person.   
Things you should eat
  • Mushrooms (Shiitake in particular)
  • Berries (rich in antioxidants)
  • Dark Leafy Greens (Kale, Swiss Chard, and Spinach)
  • Coconut Oil
  • Fermented Food (Kimchi, Sauerkraut)
  • Green Tea
  • Black Seed Extract
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