Preliminary Investigations Of Effectiveness Of Herbal Remedies Used For HIV Infection In Nigeria
This study analysed some of the widely publicised herbal remedies in use for HIV infection in Nigeria, and investigated their efficacy scientifically. Those found to be efficacious will be subjected to further analysis to identify their active chemical components. The research deals directly with patients living with HIV/AIDS that are seeking treatment in herbal homes and hospitals. The herbal homes are regularly visited and newly diagnosed patients living with HIV/AIDS are recruited after confirmation of the disease. The herbal centres of priority are those located in Zaria (Kaduna state) and Osogbo (Osun state), Nigeria with all the nearby tertiary hospitals serving as diagnostic and treatment centres for HIV infection. Assessment of the effectiveness is based on laboratory and clinical parameters using World Health Organisation (WHO) and United State Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) criteria. Parameters will be assessed before commencing medication and periodic intervals up to two years when patients started medication of herbal remedies. There are variable significant laboratory and clinical findings depending on the type of herbal therapy used by the patient with about 20% of the herbal homes have potential effective herbal remedies for HIV infection, 60% with symptomatic treatment and 20% with potential toxic products. The patients taking Zam- z (Herbal home A treatment) improved clinically and with laboratory parameters within the three months of the normal treatment, however, study is still in progress to determine the withdrawal effects of the medication and role as complementary or alternative therapy to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART).
Key Words: herbal medicine, HIV infection, Nigeria