Lost in the continuing hype about the wonders of protease combos are the broader treatment needs of PWAs. Many -- with or without cocktails -- are still getting tough-to-treat opportunistic infections (OIs). And many scientists say every person with HIV has broad-spectrum nutritional deficiencies that call for supplementation. To fill these treatment needs, many PWAs tread off the beaten path of prescription meds. That’s where buyers clubs and clinical trials come in. Some clubs sell experimental treatments, particularly for OIs; others offer discount supplements; all distribute user-friendly info (Buyers Clubs Near and Far). For those who qualify, clinical trials can provide early access to what may (or may not) prove effective new treatments. But before enrolling, make sure you carefully research the trial and, once you’re in it, protect your interests (Terms of Enrollment). The insights you gain off the beaten path may lead other PWAs to beat a path to your door.
Treating off the Beaten Path
August 1, 1997 • By Bob Lederer