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Zambian Government Announces Results of Clinical Trials of HIV/AIDS Herbal Remedies

February 28, 2007

The Zambian government on Friday announced that clinical trials of three herbal HIV/AIDS remedies found that the treatments are not effective cures for the disease, AFP/Yahoo! News reports. According to Health Minister Angela Cifire, the six-month trial conducted among 26 participants found that the herbal remedies might be an effective method of prolonging the lives of HIV-positive people but were not effective cures. She added that none of the participants died during the trials and that no side effects were recorded. According to Cifire, some manufacturers of the herbal remedies said that they would be able to cure HIV/AIDS in three months, but researchers decided to conduct a longer trial. Some manufacturers also have said that the remedies would prove an effective cure if the trials are continued with a larger number of participants. The government spent about $340,000 on the trials, according to AFP/Yahoo! News (AFP/Yahoo! News, 2/23). Zambian officials in October 2005 announced the launch of similar trials of three herbal HIV/AIDS remedies. The three-month trials, conducted among 25 HIV-positive people, conformed to World Health Organization guidelines. Patrick Chikusu, principal investigator of clinical trials of traditional herbal remedies, said the three remedies studied were: the Sondashi formulation, made by former Works and Supply Minister Ludwig Sondashi; the Mailacin formulation, made by a school teacher; and the Mayeyanin formulation. Chikusu said that each of the formulations is safe to use and that each has shown evidence of reducing HIV viral loads and increasing the number of CD4+ T cells (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 10/21/05).

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