Friday, 22 July 2011

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Dear Consumer’s Voice #1

I found some information on Facebook about a herbal treatment for HIV. The name of the product is Baariz, they have a website and contact details. Is what they say true?

No, it’s lies from beginning to end.

They do indeed have a web site and a Facebook group and they are, in my not-very-humble opinion, cheating, lying, verging-on-homicidal fraudsters. What they offer is no more than dangerous pseudoscientific nonsense. They clearly claim that they can "cure" HIV and that they offer "treatment success".

Their web site gives precisely no scientific evidence that their product works. It shows no more than some very dubious individual test results that I simply don't trust. It mentions what it claims are publications regarding their product but none of the links it gives actually work. Correction: they do suggest that God or Allah might have a role to play but they don't explain how.

I can also see no actual description of what their product actually is other than it "has herbal origin" or that it is a "magic drug". This sort of thing should be avoided at all costs.

It's nonsense and no more than a money-making scheme. Also, trading in this product in Botswana would be illegal. Peddlars of miracle cures are all scumbags but those that peddle "cures" and "treatments" for serious conditions like HIV infection and AIDS are the worst of all.

We should all be very glad that we live in a country civilized enough to deal with the threat of HIV/AIDS in a rational, logical and scientific way. Despite all the challenges we’ve achieved a great deal with free ARVs and the PMTCT program. Allowing criminals like these charlatans to sell fake cures undermines everything we’ve achieved.

Dear Consumer’s Voice #2

I received an email inviting me to a conference in the USA. I just have to pay $350 registration fee. Is this a scam?

The email you received said:
“We hereby inform you that Bridge Medical Research Foundation in partnership with, Randolph Foundation, American Trust Bank, the American Social Affairs, Allegheny Foundation, Brady Education Foundation and Rodney Fund organize 3rd International Congress for Development and Funding which is scheduled from 22nd to 27th July 2011 in Atlanta-Georgia, United States of America, (U.S.A). Your Honourable Institute is invited to take part in the Summit. Looking forward to meeting you at the summit.”
Here goes. The Bridge Medical Research Foundation is a fake organisation. Their web site (which was only registered in November last year to a company in Accra, Ghana) has been stolen almost entirely from the Bill Clinton Foundation site. It also says that:
"The Bridge Medical Research Foundation was established in 1990 by Hinger H. Norman, Jr., and is dedicated to supporting innovative, high risk/high impact biomedical research."
No such person ever existed.

None of the other organisations mentioned have anything to do with this fake Foundation. There is no “3rd International Congress for Development and Funding” planned, anywhere in the world.

It is, without a doubt, a scam.

1 comment:

Kris said...


In vitro screening of traditional herbal medicinal extracts for their anti-HIV activity (in Nagoya University, Japan)

M. Rafiq1,2, A. Awan3, S. Isomura2, N. Yamamoto2, S.A. Rasool4, M. Zardari1

Background: Many people living with HIV/AIDS use herbal medicines as the alternative therapies. In recent times focus on plant research has increased on the global level. Effective therapies for HIV infection are being sought far and wide (in the laboratories and medical practice). Our in vitro studies on the selected herbal drugs will help medical practitioner to opt for such therapeutic drug(s).
Methods: After a research based survey of traditional medicinal sources, some of the herbal and traditional medicines were selected, as prospective candidates for in vitro studies. The present study covers the primary screening of anti-HIV agents, from the indigenous traditional medicinal crude extracts using MTT assay, in the cell culture (HTLV-I transformed MT 4 cell lines). The principle of (primary) screening for anti-HIV was, to find out inhibitory concentration (IC) of the test samples which prevent HIV-I induced cytopathic effects.
Results: The amount of extract required to inhibit HIV-I replication by 50 % (IC50) in MT 4 cell culture, and the dose that reduced the viability of uninfected cells by 50 % (CC50) were observed. The ratio of IC50 /CC50 was calculated as selectivity index (SI). One herbal water extract in the concentration of 2000 ug/ml to16 ug/ml was found highly bioactive against HIV in vitro. The plant is abundantly available in Pakistan, whereas, the other sets of extracts obtained from different plant sources, have shown as good, moderate and mild anti-HIV activity (in vitro) in the concentration of 200 ug/ml to 1.6 ug/ml.
Conclusions: This highly bioactive indigenous traditional medicine, carry high potential to fight against HIV infection. It is used (in crude form) in different ailments without any known drug adverse effects. Further purification of the drug can unfold new research avenues.