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Health Condition

HIV and AIDS Support

About This Condition

Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a condition in which the immune system becomes severely weakened and loses its ability to fight infections.

Although some scientists have questioned whether or not the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has actually been proven to cause AIDS,1,2,3 most researchers do believe that HIV causes AIDS.

AIDS is an extremely complex disorder, and no cure is currently available. Certain drugs appear to be capable of slowing the progression of the disease. In addition, various nutritional factors may be helpful. However, because of the complicated nature of this disorder, medical supervision is strongly recommended with regard to dietary changes and nutritional supplements. People who have been infected with HIV are hereafter referred to as “HIV-positive.”

Symptoms

HIV causes a broad spectrum of clinical problems, which often mimic other diseases. Within a few weeks of infection, some people may experience flu-like signs and symptoms, including fever, malaise, rash, joint pain, and generalized swelling of the lymph nodes. These acute manifestations usually disappear, and many people remain asymptomatic for long periods. AIDS, the clinical syndrome associated with HIV infection, produces symptoms throughout the body related to opportunistic infections, tumors, and other immune-deficiency complications.

References

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2. Duesberg PH. Inventing the AIDS Virus. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing, Inc., 1996.

3. Maggiore C, Mullis K. What if everything you thought you knew about AIDS was wrong? Studio City, CA: American Foundation for AIDS Alternatives, 2000.

4. Durant J, Chantre Ph, Gonzalez G, et al. Efficacy and safety of Buxus sempervirens L. preparations (SPV30) in HIV-infected asymptomatic patients: a multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Phytomedicine 1998;5(1):1-10.

5. Ferrando SJ, Rabkin JG, Poretsky L. Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) and testosterone: relation to HIV illness stage and progression over one year. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1999;22:146-54.

6. Rabkin JG, Ferrando SJ, Wagner GJ, Rabkin R. DHEA treatment for HIV + patients: effects on mood, androgenic and anabolic parameters. Psychoneuroendocrinology 2000;25:53-68.

7. Ito M, Sato A, Hirabayashi K, et al. Mechanism of inhibitory effect of glycyrrhizin on replication of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Antivir Res 1988;10:289-98.

8. Hattori I, Ikematsu S, Koito A, et al. Preliminary evidence for inhibitory effect of glycyrrhizin on HIV replication in patients with AIDS. Antivir Res 1989;11:255-62.

9. Ikegami N, Akatani K, Imai M, et al. Prophylactic effect of long-term oral administration of glycyrrhizin on AIDS development of asymptomatic patients. Int Conf AIDS 1993;9:234 [abstract PO-A25-0596].

10. Ince S. Vitamin supplements may help delay onset of AIDS. Med Tribune 1993;9:18.

11. Fawzi WW, Msamanga G, Hunter D, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin supplements in relation to vertical transmission of HIV-1 in Tanzania. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2000;23:246-54.

12. Isanaka S, Mugusi F, Hawkins C, et al. Effect of high-dose vs standard-dose multivitamin supplementation at the initiation of HAART on HIV disease progression and mortality in Tanzania: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2012;308:1535-44.

13. Roederer M, Staal FJ, Raju PA, et al. Cytokine-stimulated human immunodeficiency virus replication is inhibited by N-acetyl-L-cysteine. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1990;87:4884-8.

14. Herzenberg LA, De Rosa SC, Dubs JG, et al. Glutathione deficiency is associated with impaired survival in HIV disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci 1997;94:1967-72.

15. Blehaut H, Saint-Marc T, Touraine J. Double blind trial of Saccharomyces boulardii in AIDS-related diarrhea. International Conference on AIDS/Third STD World Congress, 1992, Abstract #2120, July 19-24.

16. Eng RHK, Drehmel R, Smith SM, Goldstein EJC. Saccharomyces cerevisiae infection in man. Sabouraudia: J Med Vet Mycol 1984;22:403-7.

17. Bassetti S, Frei R, Zimmerli W. Fungemia with Saccharomyces cerevisiae after treatment with Saccharomyces boulardii. Am J Med 1998;105:71-2.

18. Baum MK, Shor-Posner G, Lai S, et al. High risk of HIV-related mortality is associated with selenium deficiency. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 1997;15:370-4.

19. Olmsted L, Schrauzer GN, Flores-Arce M, Dowd J. Selenium supplementation of symptomatic human immunodeficiency virus infected patients. Biol Trace Elem Res 1989;25:89-96.

20. Chariot P, Perchet H, Monnet I. Dilated cardiomyopathy in HIV-infected patients [letter; comment]. N Engl J Med 1999;340:732 (discussion 733-5).

21. Zazzo JF, Lafont A, Darwiche E, et al. Is non-obstructive myocardiopathy (NOMC) in AIDS selenium-deficiency related? In: Neve J, Favier A, eds. Selenium in biology and medicine. W. DeGruyter & Co.: Berlin New York, 1988, 281-2.

22. Fabris N, Mocchegiani E, Galli M, et al. AIDS, zinc deficiency, and thymic hormone failure. JAMA 1988;259:839-40.

23. Dworkin BM. Selenium deficiency in HIV infection and the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Chem Biol Interact 1994;91:181-6.

24. Mocchegiani E, Veccia S, Ancarani F, et al. Benefit of oral zinc supplementation as an adjunct to zidovudine (AZT) therapy against opportunistic infections in AIDS. Int J Immunopharmacol 1995;17:719-27.

25. Baum MK, Lai S, Sales S, et al. Randomized, controlled clinical trial of zinc supplementation to prevent immunological failure in HIV-infected adults. Clin Infect Dis 2010;50:1653-60.

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27. Cho YK, Kim Y, Choi M, et al. The effect of red ginseng and zidovudine on HIV patients. Int Conf AIDS 1994;10:215 [abstract no. PB0289].

28. Sappey C, Leclercq P, Coudray C, et al. Vitamin, trace element and peroxide status in HIV seropositive patients: asymptomatic patients present a severe beta-carotene deficiency. Clin Chim Acta 1994;230:35-42.

29. Coodley GO, Nelson HD, Loveless MO, Folk C. Beta-carotene in HIV infection. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1993;6:272-6.

30. Austin J, Singhal N, Voigt R, et al. A community randomized controlled clinical trial of mixed carotenoids and micronutrient supplementation of patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Eur J Clin Nutr 2006;60:1266-76.

31. Coodley GO, Coodley MK, Lusk R, et al. Beta-carotene in HIV infection: an extended evaluation. AIDS 1996;10:967-73.

32. Keplinger UM. Influence of Krallendorn extract on retroviral infection. Zürcher AIDS Kongress Zurich, Switzerland, Oct 16-7, 1992 [abstract in German].

33. Keplinger UM. Therapy of HIV-infected individuals in the pathological categories CDC A1 and CDC B2 with a preparation containing IMM-207. IV. Österreichischer AIDS-Kongress, Vienna, Austria, Sept 17-8, 1993, 45 [abstract].

34. Folkers K, Langsjoen P, Nara Y, et al. Biochemical deficiencies of coenzyme Q10 in HIV-infection and exploratory treatment. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1988;153:888-96.

35. Luettig B, Steinmuller C, Gifford GE, et al. Macrocytic activation by the polysaccharide arabinogalactan isolated from plant cell cultures of Echinacea purpurea. J Natl Cancer Inst 1989;81:669-75.

36. Elsasser-Beile U, Willenbacher W, Bartsch HH, et al. Cytokine production in leukocyte cultures during therapy with Echinacea extract. J Clin Lab Anal 1996;10:441-5.

37. Berman S, See DM, See JR, et al. Dramatic increase in immune mediated HIV killing activity induced by Echinacea angustifolia. Int Conf AIDS 1998;12:582 [abstract no. 32309].

38. Cho YK, Kim Y, Choi M, et al. The effect of red ginseng and zidovudine on HIV patients. Int Conf AIDS 1994;10:215 [abstract no. PB0289].

39. Kanter AS, Spencer DC, Steinberg MH, et al. Supplemental vitamin B and progression to AIDS and death in black South African patients infected with HIV. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1999;21:252-3 [letter].

40. Butterworth RF, Gaudreau C, Vincelette J, et al. Thiamine deficiency in AIDS. Lancet 1991;338:1086.

41. Baum MK, Mantero-Atienza E, Shor-Posner G, et al. Association of vitamin B6 status with parameters of immune function in early HIV-1 infection. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1991;4:1122-32.

42. Tang AM, Graham NMH, Saah AJ. Effects of micronutrient intake on survival in human immunodeficiency type 1 infection. Am J Epidemiol 1996;143:1244-56.

43. Boudes P, Zittoun J, Sobel A. Folate, vitamin B12, and HIV infection. Lancet 1990;335:1401-2.

44. Abdullah TH, Kirkpatrick DV, Carter J. Enhancement of natural killer cell activity in AIDS with garlic. Dtsch Zschr Onkol 1989;21:52-3.

45. Shoji S, Furuishi K, Yanase R, et al. Allyl compounds selectively killed human immunodeficiency virus (type 1)-infected cells. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1993;194:610-21.

46. Robinson MK, Hong RW, Wilmore DW. Glutathione deficiency and HIV infection. Lancet 1992;339:1603-4.

47. Shabert JK, Wilmore DW. Glutamine deficiency as a cause of human immunodeficiency virus wasting. Med Hypotheses 1996;46:252-6.

48. Noyer CM, Simon D, Borczuk A, et al. A double-blind placebo-controlled pilot study of glutamine therapy for abnormal intestinal permeability in patients with AIDS. Am J Gastroenterol 1998;93:972-5 .

49. Shabert JK, Winslow C, Lacey JM, Wilmore DW. Glutamine-antioxidant supplementation increases body cell mass in AIDS patients with weight loss: a randomized, double-blind controlled trial. Nutrition 1999;15:860-4.

50. Castaldo A, Tarallo L, Palomba E, et al. Iron deficiency and intestinal malabsorption in HIV disease. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1996;22:359-63.

51. Humbert JR, Moore LL. Iron deficiency and infection: a dilemma. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 1983;2:403-6.

52. Yamada Y, Nanba H, Kuroda H. Antitumor effect of orally administered extracts from fruit body of Grifola frondosa (maitake). Chemotherapy 1990;38:790-6.

53. Nanba H. Immunostimulant activity in vivo and anti-HIV activity in vitro of 3 branched b-1-6-glucans extracted from maitake mushrooms (Grifola frondosa). VIII International Conference on AIDS, Amsterdam, 1992 [abstract].

54. Muller F, Svardal AM, Aukrust P, et al. Elevated plasma concentration of reduced homocysteine in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;242-6.

55. Revillard JP. Lipid peroxidation in Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection. J Acquired Immunodef Synd 1992;5:637-8.

56. Singer P, Katz DP, Dillon L, et al. Nutritional aspects of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Am J Gastroenterol 1992;87:265-73.

57. Tan SV, Guiloff RJ. Hypothesis on the pathogenesis of vacuolar myelopathy, dementia, and peripheral neuropathy in AIDS. J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiat 1998;65:23-8.

58. Keating JN, Trimble KC, Mulcahy F, et al. Evidence of brain methyltransferase inhibition and early brain involvement in HIV-positive patients. Lancet 1991;337:935-9.

59. Dorfman D, DiRocco A, Simpson D, et al. Oral methionine may improve neuropsychological function in patients with AIDS myelopathy: results of an open-label trial. AIDS 1997;11:1066-7.

60. Valesini G, Barnaba V, Benvenuto R, et al. A calf thymus lysate improves clinical symptoms and T-cell defects in the early stages of HIV infection: Second report. Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol 1987;23:1915-9.

61. Gorter R, Khwaja T, Linder M. Anti-HIV and immunomodulating activities of Viscum album (mistletoe). Int Conf AIDS 1992;8:84 [abstract no. PuB 7214].

62. Gorter R, Stoss M, el Arif N, et al. Immune modulating and anti-HIV activities of Viscum album (Iscador). Int Conf AIDS 1993;9:496 [abstract no. PO-B28-2167].

63. Cho YK, Kim Y, Choi M, et al. The effect of red ginseng and zidovudine on HIV patients. Int Conf AIDS 1994;10:215 [abstract no. PB0289].

64. Cho YK, Kim Y, Choi M, et al. The effect of red ginseng and zidovudine on HIV patients. Int Conf AIDS 1994;10:215 [abstract no. PB0289].

65. Inada Y, Watanabe K, Kamiyama M, et al. In vitro immunomodulatory effects of traditional Kampo medicine (sho-saiko-to: SST) on peripheral mononuclear cells in patients with AIDS. Biomed Pharmacother 1990;44:17-9.

66. Piras G, Makino M, Baba M. Sho-saiko-to, a traditional kampo medicine, enhances the anti-HIV-1 activity of lamivudine (3TC) in vitro. Microbiol Immunol 1997;41:835-9.

67. Fujimaki M, Hada M, Ikematsu S, et al. Clinical efficacy of two kinds of kampo medicine on HIV infected patients. Int Conf AIDS 1989;5:400 [abstract no. W.B.P.292].

68. Li BQ, Fu T, Yan YD, et al. Inhibition of HIV infection by baicalin—a flavonoid compound purified from Chinese herbal medicine. Cell Mol Biol Res 1993;39:119-24.

69. Markowitz JS, Donovan JL, DeVane CL, et al. Effect of St John's wort on drug metabolism by induction of cytochrome P450 3A4 enzyme. JAMA 2003;290:1500-4.

70. Cooper WC, James J. An observational study of the safety and efficacy of hypericin in HIV+ subjects. Int Conf AIDS 1990;6:369 [abstract no. 2063].

71. Steinbeck-Klose A, Wernet P. Successful long term treatment over 40 months of HIV-patients with intravenous hypericin. Int Conf AIDS 1993;9:470 [abstract no. PO-B26-2012].

72. Gulick RM, McAuliffe V, Holden-Wiltse J, et al. Phase I studies of hypericin, the active compound in St. John's wort, as an antiretroviral agent in HIV-infected adults. AIDS clinical trial group protocols 150 and 258. Ann Intern Med 1999;130:510-4.

73. Jandourek A, Vaishampayan JK, Vazquez JA. Efficacy of melaleuca oral solution for the treatment of fluconazole refractory oral candidiasis in AIDS patients. AIDS 1998;12:1033-7.

74. Valesini G, Barnaba V, Benvenuto R, et al. A calf thymus lysate improves clinical symptoms and T-cell defects in the early stages of HIV infection: Second report. Eur J Cancer Clin Oncol 1987;23:1915-9.

75. Copeland R, Baker D, Wilson H. Curcumin therapy in HIV-infected patients. Int Conf AIDS 1994;10:216 [abstract no. PB0876].

76. Hellinger JA, Cohen CJ, Dugan ME, et al. Phase I/II randomized, open-label study of oral curcumin safety, and antiviral effects on HIV-RT PCR in HIV+ individuals. 3rd Conf Retro and Opportun Infect 1996;Jan/Feb:78 [abstract].

77. Semba RD, Graham NMH, Caiaffa WT, et al. Increased mortality associated with vitamin A deficiency during human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection. Arch Intern Med 1993;153:2149-54.

78. Semba RD, Miotti PG, Chiphangwi JD, et al. Maternal vitamin A deficiency and mother-to-child transmission of HIV-1. Lancet 1994;343:1593-7.

79. Coutsoudis A, Pillay K, Spooner E, et al. Randomized trial testing the effect of vitamin A supplementation on pregnancy outcomes and early mother-to-child HIV-1 transmission in Durban, South Africa. South African Vitamin A Study Group. AIDS 1999;13:1517-24.

80. Kennedy CM, Coutsoudis A, Kuhn L, et al. Randomized controlled trial assessing the effect of vitamin A supplementation on maternal morbidity during pregnancy and postpartum among HIV-infected women. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2000;24:37-44.

81. Fawzi WW, Msamanga G, Hunter D, et al. Randomized trial of vitamin supplements in relation to vertical transmission of HIV-1 in Tanzania. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 2000;23:246-54.

82. Coutsoudis A, Bobat RA, Coovadia HM, et al. The effects of vitamin A supplementation on the morbidity of children born to HIV-infected women. Am J Public Health 1995;85:1076-81.

83. Hanekom WA, Yogev R, Heald LM, et al. Effect of vitamin A therapy on serologic responses and viral load changes after influenza vaccination in children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus. J Pediatr 2000;136:550-2.

84. Humphrey JH, Quinn T, Fine D, et al. Short-term effects of large-dose vitamin A supplementation on viral load and immune response in HIV-infected women. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr Hum Retrovirol 1999;20:44-51.

85. Kanter AS, Spencer DC, Steinberg MH, et al. Supplemental vitamin B and progression to AIDS and death in black South African patients infected with HIV. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1999;21:252-3 [letter].

86. Butterworth RF, Gaudreau C, Vincelette J, et al. Thiamine deficiency in AIDS. Lancet 1991;338:1086.

87. Baum MK, Mantero-Atienza E, Shor-Posner G, et al. Association of vitamin B6 status with parameters of immune function in early HIV-1 infection. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1991;4:1122-32.

88. Tang AM, Graham NMH, Saah AJ. Effects of micronutrient intake on survival in human immunodeficiency type 1 infection. Am J Epidemiol 1996;143:1244-56.

89. Boudes P, Zittoun J, Sobel A. Folate, vitamin B12, and HIV infection. Lancet 1990;335:1401-2.

90. Kanter AS, Spencer DC, Steinberg MH, et al. Supplemental vitamin B and progression to AIDS and death in black South African patients infected with HIV. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1999;21:252-3 [letter].

91. Butterworth RF, Gaudreau C, Vincelette J, et al. Thiamine deficiency in AIDS. Lancet 1991;338:1086.

92. Baum MK, Mantero-Atienza E, Shor-Posner G, et al. Association of vitamin B6 status with parameters of immune function in early HIV-1 infection. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1991;4:1122-32.

93. Tang AM, Graham NMH, Saah AJ. Effects of micronutrient intake on survival in human immunodeficiency type 1 infection. Am J Epidemiol 1996;143:1244-56.

94. Boudes P, Zittoun J, Sobel A. Folate, vitamin B12, and HIV infection. Lancet 1990;335:1401-2.

95. Murray MF. Niacin as a potential AIDS preventive factor. Med Hypotheses 1999;53:375-9.

96. Murray MF, Srinivasan A. Nicotinamide inhibits HIV-1 in both acute and chronic in vitro infection. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1995;210:954-9.

97. Tang AM, Graham NMH, Saah AJ. Effects of micronutrient intake on survival in human immunodeficiency type 1 infection. Am J Epidemiol 1996;143:1244-56.

98. Kanter AS, Spencer DC, Steinberg MH, et al. Supplemental vitamin B and progression to AIDS and death in black South African patients infected with HIV. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1999;21:252-3 [letter].

99. Butterworth RF, Gaudreau C, Vincelette J, et al. Thiamine deficiency in AIDS. Lancet 1991;338:1086.

100. Baum MK, Mantero-Atienza E, Shor-Posner G, et al. Association of vitamin B6 status with parameters of immune function in early HIV-1 infection. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1991;4:1122-32.

101. Tang AM, Graham NMH, Saah AJ. Effects of micronutrient intake on survival in human immunodeficiency type 1 infection. Am J Epidemiol 1996;143:1244-56.

102. Boudes P, Zittoun J, Sobel A. Folate, vitamin B12, and HIV infection. Lancet 1990;335:1401-2.

103. Gogu SR, Beckman BS, Rangan SR, Agrawal KC. Increased therapeutic efficacy of zidovudine in combination with vitamin E. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 1989;165:401-7.

104. Gogu SR, Agrawal KC. The protective role of zinc and N-acetylcysteine in modulating zidovudine induced hematopoietic toxicity. Life Sci 1996;59:1323-9.

105. Micke P, Beeh KM, Buhl R. Effects of long-term supplementation with whey proteins on plasma glutathione levels of HIV-infected patients. Eur J Nutr 2002;41:12-8.

106. Wong KF, Middleton N, Montgomery M, et al. Immunostimulation of murine spleen cells by materials associated with bovine milk protein fractions. J Dairy Sci 1998;81:1825-32.

107. Minehira K, Inoue S, Nonaka M, et al. Effects of dietary protein type on oxidized cholesterol-induced alteration in age-related modulation of lipid metabolism and indices of immune function in rats. Biochim Biophys Acta 2000;1483:141-53.

108. Nellen H, Flores G, Wacher N. Treatment of human immunodeficiency virus enteropathy with a gluten-free diet. Arch Intern Med 2000;160:244 [letter].

109. Gibert CL, Wheeler DA, Collins G, et al. Randomized, controlled trial of caloric supplements in HIV infection. J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr 1999;22:253-9

110. Roubenoff R, McDermott A, Weiss L, et al. Short-term progressive resistance training increases strength and lean body mass in adults infected with human immunodeficiency virus. AIDS 1999;13:231-9.

111. Mustafa T, Sy FS, Macera CA, et al. Association between exercise and HIV disease progression in a cohort of homosexual men. Ann Epidemiol 1999;9:127-31.

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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2018.