In 1987, Ron begins smuggling drugs across the border and selling them to other HIV patients. This effort to save his life and help others begins the Dallas Buyers Club. I was happily surprised to learn that some of the supplements in the protocol he sold included silymarin (milk thistle), natural antivirals, and omega 3 oil (part of the Endothelial Health Program.) These "buyers clubs" were set up around the country, to help thousands of AIDS patients deal with their symptoms and to give them quality of life-- by selling them hundreds of alternative treatments, many of which were brought into the US illegally. These treatments extended the lives of thousands of people with HIV, often by many years and even decades past their expected life span on AZT alone. In fact, a virtual anti-viral cocktail and other supplements has now become the accepted form of treating HIV, thanks to the efforts of these first patients. HIV is no longer a death sentence, because of the work of these heroes.
I'd forgotten the history of this era--it was a time when AIDS patients would protest outside the FDA office in Washington, calling for faster approval of treatments to slow the disease. And all the while, the FDA stood firmly behind one treatment and one means of disease modification--AZT. Here's the interesting history regarding how AZT, a drug created to fight cancer which failed in cancer trials, which was later developed for use in HIV thanks to a unique, and perhaps questionable, partnership between the National Cancer Institute and Burroughs Wellcome, a drug company focused on anti-retroviral medications. http://www.scribd.com/doc/92129927/The- ... d-Conflict
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