The International journal of pharmacy practice 2017 10 04() doi 10.1111/ijpp.12406
The objective of this study was to assess the use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies among patients on anti-retroviral therapies as well as the possible reasons for their use.
This cross-sectional survey was conducted with the aid of an interviewer-administered questionnaire on HIV-positive patients attending the antiretroviral therapy clinic (Heart-to-Heart centre) of the Central Hospital, Warri, Nigeria. Patients who were 18 years and over were included after a brief introductory talk on the nature of the study. Participation was voluntary and anonymous.
One hundred and thirty-five patients participated in the study, 50 (37%) patients used one form of CAM. Of the patients who used CAM, 17 (34.0%) patients used herbal medicines; eight (16.0%) patients used spirituality, and 25 (50.0%) nutritional supplements. The CAM methods used by the patients were for the treatment of discomforts related to antiretroviral therapy (ART), eight (16.0%); the treatment of medical conditions not related to ART, 13 (26.0%), boosting the immune system, 25 (50%) among other reasons. The study revealed that a higher percentage of HIV-infected patients (76.0%) did not disclose their use of CAM to their healthcare providers.
Although highly active antiretroviral therapy has proved to be very effective in the management of patients with HIV, CAMs are still much in use.