Attitude of HIV patients to herbal remedy for HIV infection in Nigeria

A A Onifade, K O Ajeigbe, I O Omotosho, S K Rahamon, B H Oladeinde


World Health Organisation estimated that about 80% of Africans use herbal remedies for illness. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection which was believed to have no cure led many HIV patients to source for alternative or complementary therapy. A structured questionnaire was administered to 640 HIV patients in selected Nigerian HIV/AIDS clinics from 2009 to 2011 to assess their attitudes to the use of herbal remedy. Six hundred and ten (610) of the respondents were diagnosed by medical doctor and 6.3% (40) had lived with HIV for 4 years and above. Twenty (20) respondents had sought for medical therapy after diagnosis, 310 applied herbal remedy and 180 of the respondents opted for spiritual solutions. Although, majority (73.4%) would denied the use of herbal remedy when asked by a medical practitioner, 100 respondents combines herbal remedy with HAART and 67.2% of the entire respondents are of the opinion that herbal therapy is effective in HIV infection management. 64.1% of the respondents wanted herbal remedy as complementary therapy and 54.7% concluded that non availability of herbs could stop them from using herbal remedy. This study concluded that the use of herbal remedy for HIV infection is high despite advice by medical doctors thus there is a need for caution when prescribing orthodox medicines that could interfere with hepatic metabolism

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