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From the Townsend Letter
June 2006

Web Page Potpourri
by Marjorie Roswell

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Section 1: HIV/AIDS and Nutrition

Global Health Facts
Facts at a Glance
State Health Facts
Kaiser Family Foundation - HIV/AIDS
The Global Challenge of HIV and AIDS (1MB .pdf. A large file. You may want to right click and save to your hard drive, rather than open it in your browser.)
From these data-rich pages you can see that 60 million people have become infected with HIV, including more than 20 million who have already died; You can also see maps displaying data by country or state. The Kaiser Family Foundation's HIV/AIDS timeline shares milestones in the history of the disease, including national and international initiatives.

Grouppe Kurosawa Natural Medicines Blog
The founders of this site did a stint together in a minimum-security US Federal prison camp. When they got out, they created an excellent blog full of in-depth information on natural medicine for diseases. Be sure to download the "Current HIV Treatment Protocol." (See News this issue.)

Positively Positive (356 KB .pdf)
In 1984, Bradford McIntyre was told to prepare his affairs, that he'd be dead in six months from AIDS. Twenty-two years later, he's still here, sharing the keys to his health: a combination of plant sterols, live foods, supplements, intravenous vitamins and minerals (including vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, and selenium), meditation, exercise, visualization, reiki, prayer, along with selected mainstream medicines. He launched the web site, Positively Positive, in 2003. Don't miss the videos and his thoughtful essays on HIV.

Plant Sterols and Sterolins: A Review of Their Immune-Modulating Properties
This 1999 paper in the Alternative Medical Review shares impressive results from plant sterol consumption: human patients taking phytosterols were able to maintain stable immune cell numbers over the course of more than two years, while controls not receiving the phytosterols showed typical CD4 cell loss. The two nutrients being administered were beta-sitosterol and beta-sitosterol glycoside. (Beta-sitosterol is chemically similar to cholesterol, with an extra ethyl group.)

This is a terrific site from Belgium, showing the chemical structures of close to 40 phytochemicals.

USDA National Nutrient Database - Nutrient Lists
Search the USDA National Nutrient Database
Download Files
While generally helpful, the USDA list of "Reports by Single Nutrients," unfortunately does not include beta-sitosterol. The online database also does not report beta-sitosterol levels by food. However, if you download the full USDA Nutrient database, you'll find beta-sitosterol levels listed for 65 foods. (Modify the Access query named "Food Item Query by Nutrient," to select Nutr_No=641.) Pistachio nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts appear high on the list of beta-sitosterol-rich foods. This complements the foods listed at above, which identifies soybeans, wheat germ, and pumpkin seeds as good sources. Margarine is also showing up high on the USDA nutrient list, presumably because of the soybean oil source, but consuming margarine is not recommended, unless you can find a trans fat-free version. Note that nutrient levels can vary tremendously, based on the soils and other growing conditions. The USDA values are averaged lab results.

FitDay is a terrific site, showing the percentage of calories that come from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Note that greens contain a significant amount of protein – far more than most people realize! Raw spinach is 64% protein, for instance. Collards are 45% protein. Cooked red kidney beans are 38% protein. Chicken curry is 27% protein. Beef bologna is 16% protein. (Human milk is only three percent protein.) The easiest way to see these percent-of-calories numbers is to select only one food at a time and look under "Calories Eaten Today."

What Really Causes AIDS (749KB .pdf; large file)
Harold Foster identifies selenium, cysteine, tryptophan, and glutamine as the key to preventing and treating AIDS. The PDF above is a free download of his book, What Really Causes AIDS. He suggests that serum selenium levels are actually a better predictor of AIDS mortality than CD4. Note that the widespread use of commercial fertilizers depresses the uptake of selenium by crops.

Nutrients and HIV
This impressive three-part series on nutrition and AIDS is from the Alternative Medical Review. Together, the articles cover beta carotene, selenium, vitamins A and E, zinc, B-vitamins, magnesium, N-Acetylcysteine (NAC), Alpha-Lipoic Acid, L-Glutamine, and L-Carnitine. This list includes antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.

A Randomized Trial of Multivitamin Supplements and HIV Disease Progression and Mortality

Multivitamin supplements delay the progression of HIV disease. This finding offers an effective, low-cost way to delay the need for antiretroviral therapy.

AIDS Education Global Information System
This is a sleek, content-rich site, including news, publications, and references for all audiences. A search on the word "nutrition" yields 500 documents.

Nutrition Guidelines for Agencies Providing Food to People Living with HIV Disease (446KB .pdf)
The Association of Nutrition Services Agencies is made up of more than 125 organizations, which together serve over ten million meals a year to people living with AIDS. The group has lobbied for Reauthorization of the Ryan White CARE Act, which provides close to half the funding for these food programs.

The Body is described as the "Complete HIV/AIDS Resource." The Diet, Nutrition, and HIV page is content-rich.

Nutritional Issues in HIV
Implications of HIV/AIDS on Food Security: Related Resources
Resources from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine

HIV AIDS Diabetic Practice group of the American Dietetic Association
This resource is intended for members of the American Dietetic Association. Some elements on the site can be viewed by non-members.

Lark Lands Nutrition and HIV Treatment Pages
If you turn the sound on at larktreatments.htm, you'll hear a rendition of "I Will Survive!" This site includes some terrific nutrition-related papers and fact sheets from the now out-of-print book, Positively Well: Living with HIV as a Chronic, Manageable, Survivable Disease.

Nutrition and HIV Forum offers forums on a range of subjects, including one on Nutrition and HIV.

Nutrition for PLWHA – Counseling Cards (2.21MB; a very large file.)
HIV/AIDS: A Guide for Nutritional Care and Support 2004 (779KB)
Sukuma Wiki means "push the week." It's also a Ugandan term for dark green leafy vegetables, which help stretch small amounts of meat into meals through a week. These counseling cards for people living with HIV and AIDS were developed in Uganda, with technical support from Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA) and LINKAGES. The focus is on energy-building foods, body-building foods, and protective foods. With a few concessions to mainstream approaches (for instance, pictures of margarine and powdered milk), the site provides overridingly terrific information. The body-building food pictures include grasshoppers, one sure way we know these materials weren't designed for a US audience! The FANTA Project offers a wealth of additional information on nutrition and HIV/AIDS at the two additional URLs.

Section 2: Integrating Traditional Healing Practices

Wild Fermentation (1.58MB audio file)
Sandor Katz is a "fermentation fetishist" and the author of Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Life-Culture Foods. HIV-positive for several decades, Katz credits fermented foods, along with community and a protease cocktail for his current state of health. Learn all about kimchi, miso, tempeh, farmer's cheese, yogurt, kefir, and mead, along with some less familiar fermented foods such as dosas, idlis, and ogi from his wonderful book. The second and third URLs above feature a print and audio interview with Mr. Katz.

Herb Resource Foundation
The mission of this group is "to foster improved world health and well being through the informed use of herbs."

Using Our Traditions: A Herbal and Nutritional Companion for Kenyan Families
Looking to Traditional Medicine for Treatments for AIDS
Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health
The Trust for Indigenous Culture and Health is putting out an exciting herbal and nutritional guide that will focus on conditions found in people whose immune systems are compromised. They note that the book will be useful to families concerned with health issues, whether they are living with HIV infection or not. The book's release coincides with the publication of this Townsend Letter issue.

Traditional and Modern Health Practitioners Together Against AIDS (THETA)
Ministry Slams DA AIDS Charges,,2-7-659_1894467,00.html
Ministry Calls for Traditional AIDS Drugs to be Recognised
Alternative AIDS Medicines Ready for Testing

The use of traditional herbal treatment, Ubhejane is controversial in South Africa.

African Herbal Medicines in the Treatment of HIV
This paper from the Nutrition Journal offers a caution, including references to adverse effects of traditional African treatments for AIDS. "The widespread use of herbal compounds by Africans living with HIV/AIDS should be of concern to clinicians and policy makers."

Can Herbal Medicines Combat AIDS
One post says, "It is a joke to dream that herbal medicine can combat AIDS We will be living in a fool's paradise to give credit to herbal medicine." Another writes, "Some African herbalists or native doctors as they are called in Nigeria, are superior to Western medical doctors."

Gambia: Herbalists Form National Association (Requires subscription to view)

Traditional Herbs Treating AIDS
This is an intriguing release. "Thanks to a decade-long research efforts, the Wudajinqiu Traditional Medicine Engineering Center in Shenzhen has successfully extracted valid active elements from traditional herbs that can curb HIV viruses." If anyone can track down further information or the original research, please let me know.

Revivo: 12 Traditional Chinese Herbs to Activate the Immune System
Testimonials and opinions on Chinese Medicine – Revivo
Revivo pages at Nature Products offer impressive charts showing the effect of a traditional Chinese herbs combination on CD4 counts (up) and virus counts (down). The Nature Products Network is a web portal of the Tian Zi Biodiversity Research and Development Centre.

Section 3: Mainstream and Dissident Views on HIV/AIDS

Alive and Well
This is a good starting point for learning about alternative voices on AIDS.

Alive & Well San Francisco
Alive & Well San Francisco is a tremendous resource. The blog is a good place to start to learn about new content on the site. The Library includes "Notable Documents in the History of HIV/AIDS" and a section on Nutritional Therapy. The links page features a veritable who's who of AIDS dissidents. The group has an interesting and active listserv, as well, although membership is limited to residents of San Francisco. Note that non-residents may have read-only access to the listserv. I learned about the following fascinating two articles by Rebecca Culshaw, for instance, via such read-only access.

Why I Quit HIV
Why I Quit HIV: The Aftermath
In "Why I Quit HIV," Rebecca Culshaw, PhD explains why she "decided that enough is enough." She says, "I can no longer in any capacity continue to support the paradigm on which entire career has been built." Her Aftermath piece, responding to the hoards of email she received in response is at least as interesting as the original article. She questions the quantitative use of PCR to establish viral load and illustrates central flaws in the theory that HIV causes AIDS. [Editor's Note: Rebecca Culshaw's article is reprinted in this issue of Townsend Letter.]

Out of Control: AIDS and the Corruption of Medical Science (1.4MB)
This article by Celia Farber appeared in the March 2006 issue of Harper's Magazine. Featuring topics such as the theories of AIDS dissident Peter Duesberg, the article stirred quite a controversy. One AIDS activist wrote that the article was an "ugly excuse for journalism." The New York Times reported on the Harper's story and noted that "Ms. Farber says that neither she nor Harper's endorse Dr. Duesberg's position."

Errors in Celia Farber's March 2006 Article in Harper's Magazine (374KB) (272KB)
This is a 37-page rebuttal to the Harper's article above, written by eight scientists and AIDS advocates.

AIDS Truth
This website presents the scientific evidence that HIV is the cause of AIDS and that benefits of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) outweigh the risks. It was created as a rebuttal to Celia Farber's Harper's article.

More Rebuttals to the Celia Farber Harper's Article

The HIV AIDS Connection
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) presents a brief paper on why there is "overwhelming scientific consensus that HIV causes AIDS," followed by links to more resources that focus on the HIV-AIDS Connection

AIDS Debate: The Most Controversial Story You've Never Heard
VIRUSMYTH: A Rethinking AIDS Website
Gary Null
Duesberg on AIDS
Dissident AIDS database
Rethinking AIDS
AIDS - Prevention & Curing Protocol
The AIDS Wiki bills itself as "a community gathering place for AIDS dissidents to assist and foster activism." I can't pick a favorite among these sites; they're all interesting and informative.

Natural Treatments for AIDS/HIV
In addition to some interesting content on some possibly suppressed cures for AIDS, there is also a good set of links on healing HIV and AIDS at the bottom of the page

More Links

• Cade Fields-Gardner, et al. A Clinician's Guide To Nutrition In HIV and AIDS. American Dietetic Association, 1997.
• Clark, Hulda Regehr. The Cure For HIV / AIDS. New Century Press, 1993.
• Romeyn, Mary. Nutrition and HIV: A New Model for Treatment. Jossey-Bass, 1998. (Excerpted at:

Marjorie Roswell
3443 Guilford Terrace, Baltimore, MD 21218 USA


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