Recently, Charlie Sheen admitted he had to go back on HIV antiretrovirals after an “alternative” treatment had failed. Well, the doctor behind that alternative treatment, Samir Chachoua, is going on a press tour to try and save his reputation, and it’s not going well.
Chachoua was on Real Time with Bill Maher, and, among other wild statements, claimed his treatment for HIV, using the milk from arthritic goats, has “cured countries.” He even claims to have injected himself with Sheen’s blood to demonstrate the cure.
In case you hadn’t guessed, Chachoua is on shaky medical ground here. First of all, contrary to what you might believe, Chachoua’s injection doesn’t mean that much. Unless he put a few full units of Sheen into himself, the odds of getting HIV from that injection are fairly low. Secondly, there is a connection between the milk of arthritic goats and HIV, as the virus that causes arthritis in goats, caprine arthritis-encephalitis virus or CAEV, is in the same viral “family” as HIV. In fact they’re similar enough that if a human were ever to catch CAEV, it might trigger a false positive on HIV tests.
That doesn’t, however, make it anything resembling a cure. In theory, if CAEV triggered an immune response in humans, which it might not, that immune response might also deal with HIV. But cross-reactivity as a form of treatment is controversial in the medical community and only proven in a handful of cases between very specific viruses. In other words, the “cure” in question is based on questionable science, and shouldn’t be used until actual scientists take a look at it.
(via Daily Mail)