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Complementary and alternative therapies for HIV/AIDS
Many people with HIV or AIDS may think about trying complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy to boost immunity, treat complications, or ease side effects from HIV drugs. Some examples of CAM therapies are:
- Plant products, such as herbal supplements
Never try any CAM therapy without talking to your doctor first. Some CAM therapies may not work, could carry risks, or could even be harmful. For example, two widely used herbal products can actually interfere with HIV medicine: St. John's wort and garlic. St. John's wort is used to boost mood. Garlic supplements are used to lower cholesterol. Even though you might need to lower your cholesterol or boost your mood, these supplements can be very harmful to your HIV treatment. On the other hand, some CAM therapies, such as meditation, might help to improve your sense of well-being and quality of life. Massage therapy could ease pain or other symptoms you are feeling. Your doctor should know whether a CAM therapy may be helpful and is safe to try along with your current treatment.
Explore other publications and websites
Alternative and Complementary Therapies (Copyright © AIDSInfoNet) — This publication explains what complementary and alternative therapies are and whether they should be used by people with HIV/AIDS. It gives suggestions about talking to your doctors before trying complementary and/or alternative therapies.
Alternative Therapy — This Web page talks about complementary and alternative therapy and gives links to more information.
Complementary Therapies (Copyright © UCSF) — This Web page has information on many complementary therapies for people living with HIV/AIDS. Topics include yoga, massage, acupuncture, and meditation.
Herbal products, recreational drugs and HIV meds (Copyright © Project Inform) — This publication can help people with HIV make informed decisions about herbal supplements and similar complementary therapies.
Connect with other organizations
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HHS
Division of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome, NIAID, NIH, HHS
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
The Well Project
Content last updated July 1, 2011.
Resources last updated July 1, 2011.
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