ADMINISTRATION OF A FORMULATED HERBAL MIXTURE (DIB) CAUSED A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN CD4 COUNTS AND REDUCTION IN HIV RNA OF VOLUNTEERED HIV PATIENTS ON ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY
Bamikole A. Ojo.*, Tinuola T. Adebolu., Ayodele O. Ogundare, Babayemi O. Oladejo and Adeleye T.E.
The scourge of HIV infection is yet to be brought under control. One major reason for this is the problem of resistance of the virus to available antiretroviral drugs. Another reason is the lack of access to these drugs in most rural communities where conventional treatment is non-existent. Therefore, the need for complementary and /or alternative treatments. In this study, a formulated herbal mixture (DIB) made from Sorghum bicolor L., Curcuma longa L., Bridelia ferruginea B. and honey was assessed as a complementary therapy for the management of HIV-positive individuals on antiretroviral therapy (ART). A total of 16 HIV-positive individuals attending a government-approved ART clinic in Nigeria who indicated interest in the investigation were recruited for this study. The volunteers were divided into two groups: A (12; administered DIB) and B (4; not administered DIB). The CD4 counts and the viral loads of these patients were assessed before the commencement of the administration of DIB and follow-up CD4 counts and viral load assay were carried out at the 3rd month and 6th month of continuous administration of DIB for Group A patients. The CD4 counts and the viral loads of group B patients which served as control were also assessed simultaneously. There was a progressive increase in the CD4 counts from the baseline (i.e., prior administration of DIB to the patients) to the sixth month of the administration of DIB to group A patients as compared to those in group B that were not administered DIB and there was reduction in viral load to an undetectable level (TND) in HIV patients administered DIB compared to patients not administered DIB who still recorded detectable HIV RNA at 6th month of the study. Thus, the progressive increase in CD4 count and the no detection of HIV RNA among patients administered DIB continuously for 6 months show the promise of DIB as a complementary therapy in the management of HIV patients. Therefore, DIB might be an option to consider as a complementary therapy in the management of HIV patients.
Keywords: Herbal product, HIV, Viral load, CD4 count, Target-not-detected, Complementary therapy.
[Full Text Article]