Use of alternative therapies by people living with HIV/AIDS in Australia.AIDS Care. 2002 Oct; 14(5):599-606.AC
Few studies of use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) have been conducted since combination antiretroviral (ARV) drug therapy became widespread. In the context of changing ARV treatment options, it is important to consider the prevalence and correlates of use of CAM. In this study, a sample of 924 Australian PLWHA completed a self-administered survey that included questions on use of CAM. Half (55%) of the respondents reported using CAM. Most PLWHA did not choose CAM as an alternative to ARV drugs, but use CAM to complement ARV drugs. Use of CAM was not related to measures of progression of HIV/AIDS disease. In contrast, CAM use was related to characteristics of the ways respondents live with HIV/AIDS, and their attitudes toward treatment. The popularity of CAM among PLWHA highlights a need to ensure that PLWHA can make informed choices about CAM use.