A complex means the same thing as a syndrome, which is a group of signs and symptoms that collectively indicate or characterize a disease or other abnormal condition.

When AIDS was first recognized as a more or less complete breakdown of the immune system and not merely the coincidental onset of a number of unrelated infections, much inquiry ensued to identify the reason for the breakdown. These inquiries revealed that preceding the syndrome of full-blown AIDS there occurred a lesser 'pattern of signs and symptoms like those of the chronic fatigue syndrome, which indicated the likely progression to AIDS; so to differentiate between the two conditions between which there was no clear demarcation, the lesser pattern was given the name of AIDS-related Complex (ARC). That ARC was the same as the pattern of signs and symptoms appearing in the "straight" heterosexual world as chronic fatigue syndrome seemed not to be noticed, and so it was assumed they are separate illnesses. If you were heterosexual and presented with fatigue, headaches, candida, herpes and swollen lymph glands, the diagnosis would be chronic fatigue syndrome; if you were gay, the same symptoms would be diagnosed as ARC or even AIDS.

There are, of course, many pathways to the fatigue and malaise of chronic fatigue syndrome and ARC, which means they are not confined to any particular segment of society. Not only are yuppies and male homosexuals in the running, so too are students, teenagers, executives, playboys, doctors, housewives or anyone else one way or another overstressing their bodies.

But it is far worse for a homosexual person to be diagnosed with ARC than it is for a housewife to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome because ARC carries with it the implied sentence of death which can be as devastating as the bone-pointing ritual of the Aboriginals and which, together with further suppression of the immune system caused by subsequent medical treatment, as likely as not ensures progression to full AIDS.

That ARC does not necessarily mean further deterioration to AIDS is demonstrated by the many people with ARC (or chronic fatigue) who have stabilized their condition or, better still, have regained their health. The lifestyle factors which comprise the vicious spiral that leads to full AIDS are necessarily of a more damaging nature than those needed to cause ARC. As will be described later, these factors do not include the so-called AIDS virus, which has never been demonstrated, let alone proven, to cause AIDS, and in fact in many cases cannot even be detected.