July/August #156 : Kombucha Tea to...Gila Monster Spit? - by Mark de Solla Price

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Table of Contents

Child, Alive

In the Eye of the Beholder

Troubled Minds

Be a Brainiac

Family Planning

The Heart of the Matter

Med Alert

Hep C


Kombucha Tea to...Gila Monster Spit?

Cool Veggies, Hot Flavors

Hand to Mouth

Bar Resistance

Provide and Conquer

Good Habits

Summer Musts!

Breaking Barriers


Maybe Baby

Editor's Letter-July/August 2009

Your Feedback-July/August 2009

No Child Left Behind

Most Popular Lessons

The HIV Life Cycle


Herpes Simplex Virus

Syphilis & Neurosyphilis

Treatments for Opportunistic Infections (OIs)

What is AIDS & HIV?

Hepatitis & HIV

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July / August 2009

Kombucha Tea to...Gila Monster Spit?

by Mark de Solla Price

In the early days of AIDS, my friends and I searched desperately for treatments. We tried some pretty weird stuff, like Japanese kombucha mushroom tea. Then HIV meds appeared (and worked), and I grew accustomed to taking more traditional treatments in pills and shots.

But now, 26 years into life with HIV/AIDS, I have a slew of other conditions—including, most recently, diabetes. My damaged liver rules out various oral diabetes meds, so I inject a new drug, Byetta (exenatide). Doing background reading, I was transported back to those early days of HIV treatments with odd names and origins: Byetta is a synthetic form of the saliva of the venomous Gila monster—a protein in the lizard’s spit helps control blood sugar. Though recent FDA reports alarmingly link Byetta to cases of pancreatitis, it seems to work for me. Gotta love that lizard.          


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