Beyond doubt, AIDS is the most dreaded scourge of the global population today. After discovery of the AIDS virus in 1981, this disease has killed many hundred thousand people all over the world. In spite of intensive, sustained efforts by medical scientists over the years, this disease continues to defy treatment or cure. No vaccine has so far been developed for AIDS despite extensive work in this direction by immunologists for over 35 years. The disease is a sure shot killer, once it strikes. It does not sympathise with any age group, race, and sex. It slowly and surely takes the afflicted person to the jaws of death. The medical care of AIDS patients is so costly that developed as well as developing countries cannot afford to provide health care to them from state side.
Women outnumber men among the persons afflicted with AIDS in Asian countries. According to WHO statistics of 2016, fully 36.7 million in the world were suffering from AIDS during that year. And since the treatment of this ailment is very costly, developing countries would not be in a position to afford treatment. AIDS patients in these countries would suffer untold misery and torture before a certain death. In some countries laws have been enacted to prevent the spread of AIDS. World Health Organisation has fixed 1st December of every year as the day for observing World AIDS day. The advancements in medical technology have led to the development of reliable and quick diagnostic tests for AIDS. Today, diagnostic techniques are available which can detect the presence of HIV kick and HIV +ve in less than 200 seconds at a nominal cost. But AIDS continues to defy cure or prevention through vaccine. Perhaps a fact of far greater concern is the affliction of infants by AIDS.
Causes of AIDS – This disease is caused by the following factors which spread the AIDS virus called HIV.
- Sexual intercourse (including anal intercourse) with HIV infected individual.
- Transfusion of HIV infected blood to a normal, healthy person.
- Use of HIV infected hypodermic needles or surgical instruments.
- Delivery of child by pregnant HIV infected women. HIV, we all know is Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which has the property to destroy white blood corpuscles in the human body thus deranging the body’s immunity to other infections.
Major Symptoms of AIDS Suspicion
- Loss of weights by more than 10 percent with no apparent reason
- Chronic diarrhoea lasting beyond 1 month
- Chronic fever lasting beyond 1 month
Secondary Symptoms of AIDS
- Cough running beyond a month and not amenable to any treatment
- Skin disease (itching) which does not get well.
- Recurring Herpes zoster.
- Boils in the oral cavity and throat
- Glandular inflammation
- Loss of appetite with no apparent reason.
- Weakness of feet and difficulty in climbing stairs.
- White spots or patches on the face
- Profuse sweating in the middle of the night.
- General debility and dyspepsia.
- Muscular weakness
- Rectal boils
- White patches on the male sex organ.
- Excessive white discharges from vagina or rectum of women.
Other Mixed Symtoms
- White spots / patches on the face
- Constant fear and restlessness
- Lassitude and headache
- Loss of memory
- Blurred vision
- Repeated episodes of infectious diseases
- Skin diseases of various types
- Damage to the lungs through infections like TB
- Unsteady gait
- Intestinal infections and fever on a persistent basis.
Infectious diseases that are usually found in AIDS infected person
- Herpes Zoster
- Chronic fever without any specific cause
- Opportunistic infections like PCP, Grey Bowel Syndrome, and Herpes Simple infection Crystococcal meningitis.
- Leucopoenia and Lymphomania
Mental Symptoms of AIDS
- Worry and intense depression
- Excessive indulgence in liquor or depressant drugs.
- Loss of concentration
- Progressive disability for discharge of mental work.
- Suicidal tendencies
- Feeling of criminal guilt or inferiority complex.
Rules normally prescribed for preventing AIDS by modern medical school
- Limit sexual partners as far as possible and ideally to one
- Never indulge in sex with a person who has multiple sex partners.
- Use and also encourage use of condom when indulging in sex with non marital partner.
- Remember – AIDS can afflict a perfectly healthy person. Try to educate other on AIDS and its prevention.
Special instructions for those with greater risk of contracting AIDS
- Follow rigorously the above rules for AIDS prevention
- If infected, do not indulge in sex for conceiving a child.
- Never share your toothbrush, razors, needles or hypodermic syringes with others.
- Do not donate blood, semen or other organs of the body. Thus, as we have seen above, according to modern Allopathic school of medicine, AIDS is caused by infection with HIV through any of the following means.
- Indulgence in sex with infected partner
- Infected blood transfusion
- Use of infected surgical instruments, shaving instruments, razors or needles.
Since AIDS is yet incurable in Allopathy it would be of paramount importance to see the view point of Ayurveda on AIDS. The exposition of AIDS as a standard disease is not available in Ayurvedic texts authored by Charaka and Sushruta of the ancient Indian history. Why? The reason is simple. In those days of nearly two thousand years ago, human life was far more disciplined and regulated than it is today. By disciplined and regulated means that people had lifestyle far more natural and conforming to the rules of Ayurveda. Of special importance in this context is sexual discipline. Today’s life has become non-conformist, unnatural. Interestingly, this kind of lifestyle has bred in Europe and other Western countries where science, technology and ‘Allopathy’ too have developed fast and in these developments, these countries have led the rest of the world. Some of the facets and prominent points of the Western lifestyle and culture which are important in this context are given below.
- A culture of ‘eat, drink and be merry’ i.e. a belief in physical and sensual enjoyment as the be all and end all of life
- Sexual promiscuity. Is it not a fact that AIDS was virtually non -existent till the end of the nineteenth century or more precisely till the middle of the twentieth century? Is it not true that whereas Syphilis and Gonorrhoea were the scourges of the 18th and 19th Century, AIDS is the scourge of the 20th century and threatens to become a big killer of the 21st century? Is it also not true that in the last 50 years or so, the global incidence of TB has lessened remarkably but the incidence of cancer has increased in probably the same proportion and now in the last two decades, AIDS has come to occupy the position of prime killer? The answer to these questions intrigues the educated man of today, given to rational thinking and scientific approach. To many an unbiased and logical minded person, it appears that progressively unnatural treatments of diseases have brought in newer and more complex diseases which are not amenable to any treatment. According to many proponents of Ayurvedic philosophy, no bacterium or virus can thrive in a body which is healthy and having ‘dosha’ and ‘dhatus’ in perfect balance.
According to the exposition of Ayurveda given by Charka, there are three pillars of a human individual. These are ‘Sattva'(essence) ‘Atma’ (Soul) and ‘Sharir’ (corporeal body). To keep two of these pillars Sattva and Sharir in sound condition, ‘Aahar’ (diet), ‘Nidra’ (sleep) and ‘Brahmacharya’ (sexual continence) need to properly regulated. Sound health inter-alia, depends on the sound condition of these pillars. Before proceeding further, it would be appropriate to explain what constitutes proper observance of ‘Brahmacharya’. According to Ayurveda, sex should be indulged in for procreation, not for enjoyment. With that approach proper days in the post menstrual period of the woman have been prescribed for sexual intercourse. Performing sexual intercourse only on these days is the philosophy propagated by Ayurveda. Besides this, ‘Brahmacharya’ also necessitates overall sexual continence even when sex act is not performed.
Analysts of Ayurveda believe that the disturbance of the ‘Sattva’ of the human being results in loss or erosion of immunity to infection thus leading to the development of AIDS. This ‘Sattva’ can be deranged only through impure or indisciplined sexual conduct which is the antithesis of Brahmacharya. It is the ‘Sattva’ pillar in man which is responsible for retention of his ‘Ojas’ or intrinsic strength. This intrinsic strength is what provides immunity. The loss of this intrinsic strength causes the loss of immunity to infection. The reason why there is no readymade or standardised treatment of AIDS in Ayurveda is that description of this disease and its treatment are not available in the old texts. Since AIDS is the gift of ‘modern lifestyle’ to man, the fundamental, Ayurvedic treatment has to be found out after some research. However, it must be said to the credit of Ayurveda that some few cases of AIDS or incipient AIDS have been successfully treated in India using its line of treatment.
International Institute of Ayurveda (India) has claimed that successful treatment of AIDS through Ayurveda is possible and if facilities for research and development are provided, AIDS cases can, indeed, be effectively cured. According to the statements issued by this Institute many AIDS patients have been successfully treated through Ayurveda in India. The Ayurvedic treatment of AIDS has to rely on special formulations which would not be possible to produce on a mass scale without adequate financial support which, unfortunately, is not forthcoming from the state side.
AIDS prevention from the holistic angle
The major cause of AIDS is the lack of sexual discipline. Therefore the definition and importance of sexual discipline in the broad, holistic sense must be understood and people, at large, be educated on this. And what is sexual discipline? Conscious belief in the philosophy that sex is meant for procreation rather than enjoyment; further a deliberate adaptation of this philosophy in life and observing moderation in sex
– Restricting sex partner to one
– Avoiding unnatural sex (e.g. anal or oral sex)
– Avoidance of sex with a woman during here menstrual cycle
– Avoidance of sex with unknown partner of distant foreign lands
Sexual discipline is the synonym of ‘Brahmacharya’, which in Ayurvedic philosophy connotes sexual continence. Indeed, moderation in sexual activity holds the key to preservation of physical essence called ‘ojas’ or intrinsic strength which is the source of physiological immunity to infection like AIDS
Methods and means identified by WHO and other medical Agencies for checking the proliferation of HIV should be scrupulously followed. These have already been listed before in this article. Under the heading ‘Rules normally prescribed for preventing AIDS by modern medical school’ and `Special instructions for those with greater risk of contracting AIDS’.
AIDS is something of an epidemic though not exactly one in the technical sense. But since one AIDS patient can infect many others, it has some similarity with an epidemic. In Ayurveda, the cause of epidemics in general is described as lack of moral discipline. Today, the lack of moral discipline is evident everywhere – in practically all spheres of our social life. It is evident in corrupt state administration, it is evident in unscrupulous, greedy medical men, and it is manifest in marital discord, in divorce, in adultery. In purely material terms, it is often difficult to explain how lack of moral discipline leads to outbreak of epidemics. Perhaps it is God’s message to His human subjects to correct their conduct. Or it is the working of divine retribution. Indeed, strange are the ways of God! Howsoever scientifically educated we may be, we can never fathom nature’s power or understand God’s designs.
Therefore, a serious concerted effort at cleansing the moral fabric of our society is also a requisite for reducing the danger of AIDS.
Sexual permissiveness – a bane?
While talking of sexual discipline, an account must be made of the practice of sexual permissiveness widely prevalent among the European and American society. Teenage sex and problems resulting from that like pregnancies, STDs and abortions have become widespread. Is it not a predisposing factor towards AIDS?
Ayurveda as a way of life proscribes sexual promiscuity As long as people at large all over the globe do not realize the truth of the message of Ayurveda, the global society may well nigh continue to suffer the scourge of disease like AIDS. It may be pointed out that the initial incidence and spread of AIDS has been more in the sexually permissive societies of America and Europe and far less in the conservative societies of central and South Asia.
Regulated sex is therefore, suggested if AIDS were to be prevented. Adultery and multiple sex partners should be avoided. In this connection we are reminded of the nineteenth century medical literature of American Homoeopaths wherein they have given the causes of Gonorrhoea and Syphilis, the worst scourges of Europe and America during that period. Identifying ‘adultery’ as a potent cause they wrote – ‘adultery is sin’ and ‘the wages of sin are death’. These two STDs used to take human toll because powerful antibiotics were not available then. With the development of antibiotics, Gonorrhea and Syphilis began to be cured. AIDS was unknown or non-existent then. Today, incidence of Gonorrhoea and Syphilis has reduced greatly. But that hydra headed monster, AIDS has raised its ugly face. So can we say that the place of Gonorrhoea and Syphilis has been taken by AIDS? Or that Allopathic treatment of Gonorrhoea and Syphilis (through germ killing antibiotics) has resulted in this new disease called AIDS? Only time will provide the answer to these questions.
Treatment of AIDS in Ayurveda –
Although research on the treatment of AIDS in Ayurveda is wanting, the fact that there are isolated claims by physicians of cure of AIDS cases through Ayurvedic treatment cannot be lightly brushed aside. Some contemporary scholars of Ayurveda have identified the following herbs as the source of effective drugs for treatment of AIDS
1.’Tulsi’ or Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
2.’Brahmi’ (Indian Pennywort)
3.’Ashwagandha’ (Withania Somnifera)
4.’Punarnava’ (Spreading Hogweed or Boerhaavia diffuse)
5.’Giloya’ (Coculus cordifolious)
6.’Shatavari’ (Asparagus racemosus)
There herbs are believed to have the property of enhancing body’s immunity to infection.
But experts of Ayurveda opine that for curing successfully the AIDS infected individuals more potent formulations shall have to be developed which naturally, calls for systematic research. We earnestly hope that time will bring this into effect. Finally the potential of auto urine therapy for curing AIDS needs to be thoroughly researched Auto-urine therapy “(intake of self urine) is believed to be the panacea for all diseases. There is no reason why it should not be of great value in curing AIDS.
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