For over 20 years now, the world has learned to live with reality of AIDS, a dreaded malady that does no damage on its own - but kills by opening the gates of the human body to every other illness. And the cause has been identified: the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
But too many questions remain. While it seems apparent that there is a link between HIV and the collection of symptoms and signs, which we associate with AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome), the link is far from predictable. The speed with which full-blown AIDS catches up with an HIV positive individual varies considerably - the onset could take as much as ten years. Thus there must be much more involved in the genesis of AIDS than the HIV alone. And perhaps a lot more must be done to prevent AIDS than to merely block the spread of HIV.
But what is it that we must do to get this global scourge under check? Dr Mirza Anwer Baig, a surgeon turned homeopathic doctor, feels that the secret lies in the mind of the individual. In his new book titled "HOMO-IMMUNIZATION: AIDS vs Cancer", Dr Baig proposes a new concept, a new way of looking at the whole problem.
On the one hand, Dr Baig examines a set of psychological traits, which can be spotted in young people in the early teenage years or perhaps even sooner than that. Among these is a tendency to be hypersensitive, hyperactive, hypersexual, industrious and committed - in other words, a highly strung personality which other researchers used to describe as a "TYPE A" personality. Dr Baig even proposes that this set of emotional traits can be inherited through certain genetic defects. If a child shows these psychological traits, and if his or her parents have suffered from TB, cancer or diabetes, the chances of the youngster being immuno-suppressed are relatively high.
Among these children too, there are two main groups: one, which is bold and adventurous with almost "a crazy streak" and the other, which is timid but cranky and irritable. The first set has a strong love for music and rhythm, while the second has a rabid fear of doctors. None of these are absolute features; most are difficult to measure and quantify but familiar to so many of us. Since they are immuno-supressed, they may also suffer a host of other diseases from time to time.
Now comes the second part of Dr Baig's hypothesis. He says that once these children are identified, it is possible to offer a remedy in the form of a homeopathic "nosode" which could probably stave off the more serious forms of disease. A nosode is nothing but a homeopathically prepared remedy, which can sometimes act in a wide spectrum of diseases.
On the specific subject of AIDS, too, Dr Baig proposes that the focus of prevention should shift from the HIV virus to the constitutional nature of the people. He says that efforts should be directed at identifying the groups of immuno-supressed children and protecting them with the help of homeopathic remedies. To support his hypothesis, he has put together a large collection of cases, which have been assessed by methods of modern science but have shown remarkable improvement in their physical condition. Allopathic medicine has no explanation for these observations.
Hence the time has come for other scientists, perhaps belonging to a variety of disciplines, to make an objective assessment of what Dr Baig is saying. It could turn the existing establishment of the flourishing AIDS industry on its head, rendering many social workers, educational experts and communication professionals unemployed. But for those who have studied the history of science over the centuries, this is not a totally unfamiliar experience. Will such an impartial review take place or will the mandarins of the global AIDS industry succeed in burying it out of sight? Only time will tell.