AIDs can now be successfully treated by retroviral drugs which is a huge medical advance. However these drugs need to be taken continuously and give rise to side-effects.

It is much less widely known that four nutrients are of critical importance in AIDs and that double blind trials have demonstrated that nutrients can stop the decline in AIDs.

The body produces an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase which is critical for immune function and is strongly anti-viral. The HIV virus also produces this enzyme and, as the virus replicates and increases in number, it competes for the same nutrients and ultimately depletes them causing the characteristic symptoms of AIDs. These nutrients are selenium, cysteine, tryptophan and glutamine.

By depleting these nutrients, the HIV virus can replicate more efficiently and with less resistance from a declining immune system. Deficiency of cysteine cause skin disease and skin infection; deficiency of glutamine causes muscle wasting and diarrhoea: deficiency of tryptophan causes diarrhoea, dementia and dermatitis. Selenium is also a key supplement and areas of Africa with soil rich in this nutrient (such as Senegal) have lower rates of AIDs. A fall in selenium levels correlates with a fall in CD4 T-cells. Those with selenium deficiency are twenty times more likely to die of AIDS (and this is a simple thing to correct).

The importance of these nutrients was discovered by Dr Harold Foster and explained in his book “What really causes AIDS”

In a trial in Uganda it was found that glutathione peroxidase levels correlate with CD4 T-cells and are the best indicator of survival in AIDs.

It has been known for many years that supplements help AIDs. A Johns Hopkins study by Tang in 1993 found supplements could reduce or halt AIDS. A Harvard study by Fawzi in 2004 found supplements slowed the progression of AIDs by the same 50%. A 2013 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found using a supplement containing multivitamins and selenium significantly reduced the risk of immune decline and morbidity. However few patients or doctors are aware of these studies.

Harold Foster produced a supplement containing selenium, tryptophan, cysteine and glutamine and did small trials in Africa with 77% of patients improving. Sometimes recoveries were rapid, dramatic and life-saving.

Other nutrients are important in AIDs. Dr Joan Priestley found using Vitamin C up to bowel tolerance (when mild diarrhoea occurs) -usually 15 to 18 grams daily – was highly beneficial (see separate leaflet). She also found the bioflavinoid quercetin blocks the HIV virus in a similar way to AZT without any of its side effects. Selenium at a dose of 400mcg daily is beneficial, as is garlic.

Note that with any therapy the viral load and CD4 –T cells needs to be monitored to check the effectiveness of the treatment.