refers to a tonification of the body's immune system--that is, an ability to augment immune response when it needs to be stimulated and to depress an already overstimulated immune system). One laboratory study showed that the homeopathic medicine Silicea had dramatic effects on stimulating macrophages, an important part of the body's immune system, by 55.5% to 67.5%11. On the other hand, another clinical trial showed the efficacy of individualized homeopathic medicines on the treatment of people with rheumatoid arthritis,12 an autoimmune disease, which is when a person's immune system is overly active, leading the body to attack itself. This study suggests that homeopathic medicines decreased the overly active immune system.
Other studies have shown the immunomodulatory effects of homeopathic medicines,13 though their description is too technical for this book (See P. Bellavite and A. Signorini, Homeopathy: A Frontier in Medical Science. Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1995).
The history of homeopathy's successes in treating infectious disease epidemics, the research that suggests the immunomodulatory effects of homeopathic medicines, and the clinical research on HIV+ and AIDS patients that indicates beneficial response to homeopathic medicines should command attention by physicians, scientists, and public health officials. Despite this body of work, it is both surprising and depressing that homeopathic medicine has been consistently ignored as a viable part of a comprehensive program in treating HIV+ and AIDS patients.
Homeopathy is not the only alternative that is being ignored by the AIDS medical community. Even though a large number of people with AIDS, especially long-term survivors, are using one or more alternative treatments, there is little data on their use or success. The leading AIDS organizations are likewise ignoring any serious investigation of their use. Until AIDS activists, the concerned general public, and open-minded health professionals start insisting that research on alternatives be performed, the potentially valuable therapies will continue to be ignored, and the AIDS epidemic will continue to devastate our society. When these alternative therapies are integrated within a comprehensive program which includes public health measures that seek to prevent infection, the AIDS epidemic will finally begin to recede.
1G.F. Lemp, S. Payne, N. Dennese, et al., "Survival Trends for Patients with AIDS," JAMA, January 19, 1990, 263, 3:402-6. (One important benefit of AZT is that it seems to prevent the transfer of HIV to infants of infected mothers.)
2Rene Dubos, The Mirage of Health. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1959, 93-4.
3Claude Bernard, Principles de Medecine Experimentale. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1947, 160-61.
4I. Wolffers and S. de Moree, "Use of Alternative Treatments by HIV+ and AIDS Patients in the Netherlands, Ned Tijdschr Geneeskd., February 5, 1994, 138(6):307-10.
5D.P. Rastogi, V.P Singh, V. Singh, et al., "Evaluation of Homoeopathic Treatment in 129 Asymptomatic HIV Carriers," British Homoeopathic Journal, January 1993, 82:4-8. The diagnoses of all patients in this study were initially confirmed by the two accepted laboratory analyses, ELIZA and the Western Blot, which were performed by a World Health Organization-recognized center in India. After homeopathic treatment, 12 patients who initially tested HIV+ from the ELIZA test were found to be HIV- later. The initial report on this study showed that only 2 of these 12 patients were tested again through the Western Blot, which opened the study up to criticism because the ELIZA test is known to have errors and requires a confirmatory test with the Western Blot. Because of the extremely atypical result of this study, the editor of the homeopathic journal in which it was published was so startled that he wrote an editorial questioning its authenticity. (P. Fisher, "When to Believe the Unbelievable," British Homoeopathic Journal, January, 1993, 82:2-3.) However, since this editorial, the authors have confirmed that 9 of the original 12 patients tested negative according to the Western Blot, and an additional two people changed from HIV+ to HIV-. (D.P. Rastogi, "Asymptomatic HIV Carriers," British Homoeopathic Journal, January 1994, 83:54.)
6D.P. Rastogi, V. Singh, S.K. Dey, et al., "Research Studies in HIV Infection with Homoeopathic Treatment," CCRH (The Indian Government's Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy) Quarterly Bulletin, 1993, 15, 3/4:1-6.
7V. Singh, D.P. Rastogi, S.K. Dey, et al., "Homoeopathic Drugs as Immunomodulators: A Study of 34 HIV Subjects," International Conference on AIDS, August 7-12, 1994:10(1):218 (abstract PB0301).
8Laurence Badgley, Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, March 1987, 80:8-14.
9L.M. Singh and G. Gupta, "Antiviral Efficacy of Homoeopathic Drugs Against Animal Viruses," British Homoeopathic Journal, July 1985, 74:168-74.
11E. Davenas, B. Poitevin, and J. Benveniste, "Effect on Mouse Peritoneal Macrophages of Orally Administered Very High Dilutions of Silica," European Journal of Pharmacology, 1987, 135:313-19.
12R. G. Gibson, et al., "Homoeopathic Therapy in Rheumatoid Arthritis: Evaluation by Double-Blind Clinical Therapeutic Trial," British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, September, 1980, 9:453-9.
13M. Bastide, et al., "Immunomodulatory Activity of Very Low Doses of Thymulin in Mice," International Journal of Immunotherapy, 1987, 3:191-200. See also V. Daurat, P. Dorfman, and M. Bastide, "Immunomodulatory Actvity of Low Doses of Interferon in Mice," Biomedicine and Pharmacotherapeutics, 1988, 42:197-206
Dana Ullman, Discovering Homeopathy, Berkeley: North Atlantic, 1991.
A reader of many of the above listed difficult-to-obtain articles are available from Homeopathic Educational Services for $10.00 (plus California tax of 7.75%).