December 1st, World's HIV Day
HIV has become one of the diseases that yet has no cure. Although we now have many drugs that can help HIV patients lead near-normal lives. It does not negate the fact that in recent years, many claims have come up that an HIV cure has been discovered. Such treatments only seemed to reduce the viral burden without achieving a full seroconversion. Thus, in the midst of many claims of a new HIV/AIDS cure, they have all been dismissed on the premise of inconsistent results.
Now, I am here to talk about another drug that claims to be a cure for HIV/AIDS. Is this going to be another failed attempt to convince the public of a new cure to the disease?
Current drugs used in the management of HIV/AIDS referred to as the Highly Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy(HAART) have become the gold standard of treatment in the absence of any other superior therapies. It has been noted that these drugs help to enhance the dropping levels of CD-4 count in HIV infection. But at most, seroconversion from HIV positive to complete HIV negative has never been documented with the use of these drugs.
Where will the breakthrough of a new cure originate from? Researches are ongoing by different laboratories and organizations all over the world in the quest for the cure for HIV infection. However, a new discovery in Nigeria, an African Country has received credible attention.
Nigella sativa concoction made of 60% N. sativa seeds and 40% honey, has been noted to induce sustained seroconversion in an HIV patient in Nigeria.
The experiment conducted by Abdulfatah Adekunle Onifade, Andrew Paul Jewell and Waheed Adeola Adedeji published in the NCBI African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines, has shown that Nigella Sativa concoction was able to induce seroconversion in an advanced stage HIV patient in Nigeria.
Nigella Sativa had been documented to possess many therapeutic properties but the least expected for it is being the cure of the disease that has plagued mankind in the last four decades.
N. sativa; Source: Wikipedia
Experimentally, they administered 10mls twice daily of the carefully prepared Nigella concoction for 60 days to the patient with many of the classic symptoms of HIV/AIDS including fever, diarrhea, weight loss and multiple pruritic lesions, with laboratory evidence of seropositivity to HIV infection, elevated HIV viral load of up to 27,000 copies/ml and markedly reduced CD-4 count of 250 cells/mm3. Fever, diarrhea, and multiple pruritic lesions were said to disappear on the 5th,7th and 20th day respectively. And repeated EIA and Western blot test on the 187th day of Nigella sativa therapy confirmed seronegativity of the patient. CD-4 counts started rising to normal and viral load reduced drastically.
One of the criteria that has ruled out many previous claims of new drugs for HIV cure is the fact that they may not be able to test seronegative even though symptoms regress and viral load decreases. Also, many of them were sent back to the bench where they originated from as mere products of over-excitement and false alarm because they had not been consistent with the claims.
Whether or not Nigella sativa will stand the test and be crowned as the only existing cure for HIV/AIDS will depend on subsequent outcomes from clinical testing in other patients. But on the ground that it was able to produce full seroconversion in a one-time HIV patient is enough to lend it some credibility that it could just be the cure everyone has been waiting to know.
The publication of the experiment has also refuted the disbelief in herbal medicines in the treatment of HIV infection. As far as medicine has evolved, we are beginning to accept that the only disagreement between orthodox medicine and traditional medicine is not the lack of efficacy of traditional medicine but the fact that herbal mixtures are too complex to be analysed or to say for sure what their components are.
Whether or not the traditional medicine facet will decide to improve on studying the exact chemical components of its therapeutic herbs to satisfy the curiosity of the scientific world will be something only time will tell but so far, Nigella sativa has once again proven the potency and efficacy of some traditional remedies.
Before it is accepted or refuted as a true cure for HIV, we know already that from the results of the experiment, it is a potential cure for the disease. If at all, only a slight modification should make it the miracle cure for HIV/AIDS in the future.