Can you get Swine Flu easier if you have HIV?
One of our readers sent in an interesting article today regarding the Swine Flu and HIV. The media is hyping up this Swine flu thing bigger than the end of the world and I am sure there are many in the GLBT community panicking right now. We try and find things on this blog that are real issues with the GLBT community and this is something that may be of concern as the news is breaking with new Swine flu cases and deaths everyday.
The article sent to us is from The Body (thebody.com). They basically said that there is no need to panic if you have HIV and are worried about contracting the Swine Flu anymore than someone without HIV or AIDS. You are not a special case and there is no emergent need to take any special precaution.
I’ve been reassuring my patients that they don’t really have to think about this flu differently than anyone else. And that’s in part because most of my patients are on HIV treatment and have undetectable viral loads and have decent CD4 counts. So for them, it really is not a special issue. It’s an issue we all have to be concerned about.
There was also a good question asked if the drugs Tamiflu and Relenza would interact with current HIV meds:
No, the drug can be used with antiretrovirals. There are no significant drug interactions. It can be used with the drugs we commonly use to treat or prevent pneumonia. So that really should not be a concern, but do keep in mind that if you were to develop flu and then develop pneumonia — of course by then, I hope you would be under the care of a doctor — that Bactrim [co-trimoxazole] may not be the right drug. So Bactrim’s a good drug for pneumocystis, but not a great drug for the types of pneumonia that might complicate flu.
I actually read two really good articles on the Swine Flu today one from Bottom line magazine that said to take some immune boosting supplements. Keeping your immune system strong at a time like this is vital to staying away from this Swine Flu outbreak. Actually turning down the TV to something other than Swine Flu news might also boost your immune system. The media hype may not be too good either!
Some natural health fighting ways for ANYONE to stay away from the Swine Flu are to take Selenium, Vitamin C and D, and Lomatium dissectum, a member of the parsley family. Selenium is the essential trace mineral is a valuable antioxidant that prevents cell damage from free radicals.
Selenium helps the immune system recognize viruses and block them from entering cells, explains Dr. Rubman. He recommends a dose of 400 micrograms (mcg) to 500 mcg a day divided into three parts — that is about four times the usual.
This doctor also advises to wash your hands a lot and to make sure you sneeze into a napkin or tissue instead of your own germ filled hands. Another thing that caught my eye is the concoction he made up with Red Hot Chili peppers:
Another of Dr. Rubman’s flu-fighting favorites is a spicy tea concocted from echinacea, goldenseal, slippery elm bark and just a touch of the red-hot pepper capsicum. Echinacea, goldenseal and capsicum team up to fight off germs, while slippery elm allows the tea to coat the back of the throat, where viruses are most likely to take hold.
Here’s how to make it: At your local health-food store, purchase one-half ounce of powdered goldenseal root… one-half ounce of powdered echinacea root (not the whole plant)… two ounces of slippery elm bark powder… and one teaspoon of capsicum.
At home, put ingredients in a brown paper bag or plastic baggie, close tightly and shake. Transfer the contents to a screw-top jar. Give this jar a shake each time you use it in order to remix the ingredients.
To make the tea, pour one cup of very hot water into a mug over one-half teaspoon of the powder.
Maybe its safer to be prepared for this outbreak or we are all reacting too crazily and panicing. A part of me thinks this is mostly media ratings hype and they could not have begged for something more dramatic to talk about. I mean they asked Paris Hilton about it (TMZ) but showed it on the local Fox News. Closing down schools and quarantining people is way out of hand. When they are quarantining people they have taken things too far. One thing we must realize is we have messed with nature so much that things like this will happen and we better get used to big challenges – we have treated animals so badly with hormones and made plants/seeds hybrid (thanks monsanto) and put so many pesticides into the ground among loosing so much of our natural surroundings. We all might want to think about a stockpile of food and water for any kind of emergency where we are not able to go into public.
What if you catch Swine Flu? There is a natural remedy that the big pharmaceutical companies do not tell you about:Classical Homeopathy (Medical Guides to Complementary and Alternative Medicine.)