247701 USE of Traditional and Alternative MEDICAL THERAPY Among Clients ON Antiretroviral Drugs IN LAGOS, SOUTHWESTERN Nigeria

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Wasiu Adebimpe, FWACP, MPH , Department of Community Medicine, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital Osogbo, Osogbo, Nigeria
Korede Adegoke, MBBS, MPH , Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, USF College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, Tampa, FL
Background: With the fear of uncertainties brought about by prolonged use of antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, clients on ARVs may seek alternative medical therapy from traditional caregivers with high hopes of getting cured of HIV. On the other hand, adherence to ARVs and efficacy of such medications still remain an issue. Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study assessed attitudes towards alternative medical therapy among 400 clients on ARVs in Lagos, southwestern Nigeria using multi-stage sampling method. Semi-structured, pre-tested questionnaires were administered, and responses were analyzed using the SPSS version 13.0. Preliminary Results: Mean age of respondents was 38.9 (+1.3) years. One hundred and twenty four (31.0%) respondents believed that modern medicine may not offer a cure for HIV, and 72 (18.0%) had consulted an alternative practitioner for HIV care/cure. Forty (10.0%) respondents believed that alternative medications can cure HIV infection. Three hundred and twenty-eight (82.0%) respondents used orthodox medications only, and 24 (6.0%) used modern and traditional medications. Thirteen (36.1%) of those who took traditional medications had ever stopped ARVs because of these herbal medications while 35 (33.7%) of those who took immune boosters had ever stopped ARVs because of these immune boosters. Fifty six (14.0%) respondents believed that these alternative medications can work without ARVs. Conclusion: Clients on ARVs seek traditional medical care in quest for prompt relief of their symptoms/cure for HIV and its associated immunosuppressive conditions. Health care workers should be aware of the use of alternative medical therapy by clients on ARVs and improve on adherence counseling.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To describe the attitudes of HIV positive clients on antiretroviral drugs towards alternative medical therapy in Lagos, southwestern Nigeria

Keywords: Alternative Medicine/Therapies, Antiretroviral Combination Therapy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked as a physician providing medical care to HIV positive clients in the past, and I did the literature review and data analysis 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.