in Treating HIV / AIDS
February 4th, 2007
HIV/AIDS is the fourth leading cause of death in the world, and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States for those between the ages of 15-24. There have been and continues to be fast and furious research on a cure, a vaccine, and better traditional treatments. However, little research has been done that focuses on the alternative or non-traditional methods that many people use in treating HIV/AIDS. There has yet to be a large-scale study that has been able to identify potential roles for the safe and effective use of Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) in the management of HIV/AIDS and its complications (Foote-Ardah, 2003). An additional problem is that the FDA does not regulate any herbal or botanical supplements, which affects the ability to do studies on clinical effectiveness (Bain et al., 1997). One concern regarding CAM therapy, especially herbals, botanicals, and supplements, is the possible effect one may have on the other (Donegan and Kaiser, 1996)
Many studies have also been limited in some areas. Some of the studies have a cross-sectional design that does not allow us to directly link the relationship between the CAM therapy and the progression of the disease. In a study done by Chang et al. (2003) they acknowledged that their study did not examine the relationship between the use of CAM therapy and the participants' faithfulness in their traditional medical treatments. Many, if not most, of the studies are limited by the size of the sample; some samples have as few as 10 participants (Barnes et al., 2001). Another issue is that the definitions of CAM can differ widely from study to study. Some studies include chiropractic care as CAM therapy, while others consider it a form of allopathic medicine. There may also be a conflict regarding the inclusion of exercise and diet as forms of CAM... [continues]
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