Philippines Warns Against Gecko as AIDS Treatment
July 27, 2011
The use of geckos as treatments for AIDS, asthma, cancer, TB and impotence has no scientific basis and could be dangerous to patients, warned a statement from the Philippines' health department. Geckos are reportedly exported to China, Malaysia and South Korea, where they are used as aphrodisiacs and as traditional medicine for these conditions. The health department worries that patients may not seek proper treatment for their diseases as a result. "This is likely to aggravate their overall health and put them at greater risk," the statement said. Treatments for asthma are affordable and easily available, while there are drugs to treat HIV, it noted. Furthermore, environmental officials expressed alarm about the growing gecko trade in the Philippines, saying a healthy population of the wall-climbing, carnivorous lizards is needed to regulate pests and maintain the fragile ecosystem.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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