Concurrent use of antiretroviral and african traditional medicines amongst people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) in the eThekwini Metropolitan area of KwaZulu Natal

Mncengeli Sibanda*, Nlooto M. Manimbulu, Panjasaram Naidoo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2016, Makerere University, Medical School. All rights reserved. Background: People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA) often use African Traditional Medicines (ATM) either alone or in combination with Western medicines including Antiretrovirals (ARV). Objective: To explore the prevalence of concurrent Antiretrovirals (ARV) and African Traditional medicines (ATM) use and determine the effects of any concurrent use on the CD4+ Lymphocyte count and Viral Load (VL) of PLWA in the eThekwini Metropolitan area. Methods: A descriptive and exploratory study was carried out on 360 patients. Information was gathered on patients socioeconomic characteristics, ATM usage, outcome measures of HIV disease progression (CD4+ Count, VL). The data was analysed using descriptive statistics, univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: 4.98% (14/281) of the patients used ATM and ARV concurrently during the study period. Over 65% (185/281) reported ATM use before diagnosis with HIV whilst 77.6% (218/281) reported previous ATM use after their HIV diagnosis but before initiation with ARV. Place of residence (p=0.004), age (p<0.001) and education level (P=0.041) were found to be significantly and positively correlated with ATM use. There were no statistically significant changes in mean plasma CD4+ Count and inconclusive effects on VL during the period of the study in the group taking ARV alone when compared with the group using ARV and ATM concomitantly. Conclusion: Concurrent ARV and ATM use is quite low (4.98%) when compared to ATM use before HIV diagnosis and after HIV diagnosis but before initiation with ARV. This may point to efficient pre-counselling efforts before ARV initiation by health care professionals. This study also demonstrated that there were no significant differences in the CD4+ and inconclusive effects on VL, between patients taking both ARV and ATM concomitantly and those using ARV alone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1118-1130
Number of pages13
JournalAfrican Health Sciences
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • AIDS
  • ARV
  • African traditional medicines
  • Complimentary medicines
  • Drug-Herb interactions
  • HIV
  • Herbal medicine
  • Indigenous medicine
  • Medical Pluralism
  • South Africa

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