Quackery is the promotion of a medical remedy that does not work or has been proven to work. From fake medicines to faith healers promoting cures for sexually transmitted diseases including AIDs and HIV.
Since AIDS was identified, fake treatments to cure HIV/AIDS have been promoted. However, cures for AIDS are not the only fraudulent cures available. Fake cures can also be found for genital warts, HPV and herpes. Information on AIDS and cures can be found online on many websites including HIV dating sites.
On January 2007, a cure for AIDs was announced by President Jammeh of The Gambia had revealed that he had the cure for HIV/Aids pandemic and asthma. On February 12th, 2007, the president’s office released the a statement noting that the President of the Republic, Dr Yahya Jammeh had successfully treated nine infected persons within three weeks. “These lab tests show that for patients with HIV2, the virus was no longer detectable. This is a scientific proof that President Jammeh’s claim is true and have been verified to be true through the most rigorous scientific test namely a lab in a medical school,” according to the statement. However, on closer review the findings were not credible.
Four patients with HIV1, the lab results showed one patient had a very high viral load, one high, one moderate, and one undetectable. Of the four patients with HIV-2, one had a low viral load and three had less than the detectable level.
According to Dr. Coumba Toure Kane, head of the molecular biology unit at Senegal’s Cheikh Anta Diop University, “There is no baseline … you can’t prove that someone has been cured of Aids from just one data point. It’s dishonest of the Gambian government to use our results in this way,” according to the Guardian.
On October 24, 2007, clinical data for the third and fourth batch had been released. The name of the country in which the samples were tested had been withheld. Among the patients 27 had undectable viral loads, 27 patients had viral loads of half a million which is considered very high and 27 patients had a CD4 count of below 200, which according to AIDs.gov, is one of the qualifications for a diagnosis of AIDS.
Dr. Pedro Cahn, President of the International AIDS Society had expressed apprehension about President Jammeh so-called cure commented in a press release “It is premature and unethical to label this product a cure if it has not been thoroughly tested and proven. Furthermore, to take patients off potent combination antiretroviral therapy, which has saved millions of lives since its introduction in 1996, is shocking and irresponsible.”
As of January 20th this year, President Jammeh is now laying claims to have a cure for the world’s deadliest diseases that include liver, pancreatic and breast cancer.
On May 3td 2011, the FDA and FTC in a press release by the FDA announced “a joint effort to remove products from the market that make unproven claims to treat, cure, and prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The products that had been targeted included the following:
Medivar that manufactured Medavir, ViraBalm, Vyristic Immune Support, Medavir H-Elimination Kit, had received their warning letter from the FDA on April 28th, 2011. Among the labeling statements on their websites (www.medavir.com, www.medavir.net and www.taghealth.com) MedaVirTM is the #1 rated nonprescription herpes treatment because it is proven effective and prevents 98% of all outbreaks (safe topical gel, no pills or side effects).”For ViraBalm (topiclal) Evidence shows topical application of these products may assist in reduction of viral count.” Currently all three websites no longer exist.
Arenvy Laboratories, Inc , product iImmuneGlory, were also warned on the 28th. Their website www.immuneglory.com is still operational. Among the labeling statements is “Stop current outbreaks and eliminate future ones. According to the CDC there is no cure for herpes but there are medications available that will shorten or prevent outbreaks.
Other manufacturers target by the FDA included Flor Nutraceuticals for Herpaflör, Viruxo for Viruxo and Chlamydia-Clinic.com for C-Cure, their website is no longer active.
A list of OTC products with false claims to treat or prevent STDs can be viewed online at the FDA website.
Deborah M. Autor, director of the Office of Compliance in FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, commented in the news release “These products are dangerous because they are targeted to patients with serious conditions, where treatment options proven to be safe and effective are available.” “Consumers who buy these products may not seek the medical attention they need and could spread infections to sexual partners.”
According to the FDA only prescription medicines and diagnostic tools available through a health care professional are effective for STD diagnosis and treatment.
FDA expert Debbie Birnkrant, MD, commented in a consumers update “If you aren’t treating your STD with an FDA-approved medication, you’re not just putting your own health at risk-you could be endangering your partner.”
The FDA states they have never approved any nonprescription online medication or dietary supplements that are proven to prevent or treat STDs.
Currently there is around 15 million or more products being sold online including some that are on creditable websites that claim their product can successful treat, cure or prevent HIV, AIDs, HPV among other stds. The FDA is attempting to shut down these sites but unfortunately new sites with false claims keep growing.
If you notice a treatment, please check with your doctor first and get all the information needed to make an informed decision. There are treatment options currently to treat STDs. Talk to your doctor about your options.
Remember to protect yourself by noting placing your health in the hands of an infomercial, television or print/website ad. Always consult your healthcare provider first.