237928 Use of acupuncture and Chinese medicine for HIV-infected persons: Mind and Body Medicine

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Biru Yang, MPH, PhD , Bureau of Epidemiology, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX
Wen-Yueh Chen, MOM, LAc , American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Houston, TX
M. Aaron Sayegh, PhD, MPH , Bureau of Epidemiology, Houston Department of Health and Human Services, Houston, TX
Since 2004, the American College of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine in collaboration with Legacy Community Health Services (LCHS) in Houston, TX provide complementary therapies to patients living with HIV/AIDS. Anecdotal information from patients indicates that these therapies are beneficial; however research to evaluate treatment acceptability is necessary. To determine the acceptability of complimentary therapies for improved patient well being, researchers abstracted information from medical charts from a cross-section of 80 patients receiving services from 2004-2010. The sample of patients is male (91%), mean age of 44 years old (range: 25-70), and are on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) (74%). Most patients received acupuncture (99%), and only 1% received herbal therapies. Reasons for acupuncture include: pain (44%), smoking cessation (14%), peripheral neuropathy (11%), stress (9%), memory loss (3%), and other symptoms (19%). Of the sample of patients, 50% receive 1 treatment, 15% receive 2 treatments, and 34% receive 3 plus treatments. In terms of acceptability, LCHS patients appear receptive to complimentary treatments among the menu of available clinic services. A limitation of the study is lack of follow-up information due to high attrition rate. The recommended number of acupuncture sessions is 8 in combination with herbal remedies. Results of this study show that most patients receive much less than the recommended dose; however patients also have difficulty adhering to conventional allopathic therapies. Due to possible herb and HAART interactions, herbs were not prescribed to the patients. Future research to evaluate treatment effectiveness and to develop interventions to promote adherence is needed.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Assess the treatment acceptability of acupuncture and oriental medicine on HIV-infected individuals.

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Principal Investigator for this study
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.