10. The “AIDS Treating Machine” (from T&T Medical Products). Contents: “Solution A, with H2O and NaCl.” We’re talking salt water, sister. Save it for the capellini.
9. The “Zapper” (from Bob Beck, self-proclaimed “doctor of the future”). This gizmo claimed to electrocute HIV and other pesky viruses.
8. Hyperthermia. In 1990, PWAs maxed-out credit cards for pricey stays in foreign clinics where the blood was taken from their bodies, heated and returned, presumably HIV free.
7. In Africa the myth that sex with virgins cures AIDS causes a rash of rapes.
6. “Plasma Plus.” This potion’s peddler was busted in Vegas for fraud.
5. “Immunostim” claimed to cure not just AIDS but cancer. Contents: a compound akin to (we kid you not) toilet bowl cleaner.
4. “OvImmune” was made of powdered eggs from vaccinated chickens. Yolk’s on you.
3. Three-Herb Miracle Cure dot-com. This one sprouted on the World Wide Wed in 1996. A court order swiftly nipped it in the bud.
2. HIV positive South African grave robbers brewed tea from an apartheid official’s skeleton convinced it would cure. Kettle’s on.
1. The undisputed No. 1, from an anonymous tip to the AIDS Committee of Toronto: masturbating onto tomatoes. We’re not sure how it works, but you’ll never look at ketchup the same way again.
AIDS and health-care fraud are no joke. Check out www.healthfraud.org and www.quackwatch.org.