HIVMA opposes The Gambia's unproven AIDS remedy

April 30, 2007

Leading HIV experts are alarmed that the government of The Gambia is encouraging citizens living with HIV to stop taking antiretroviral medications in order to try an unproven herbal remedy. The HIV Medicine Association (HIVMA) calls on President Yahya Jammeh to cease his unproven claims that the treatment "cures" AIDS.

Earlier this year, President Jammeh began applying his treatment to a handful of patients who had been doing well on antiretroviral therapy but stopped taking the drugs in order to qualify to receive his "cure."

HIVMA joins its colleagues in the International AIDS Society and the Society for AIDS in Africa in expressing great concern regarding this practice. "There currently is no cure for HIV/AIDS," said HIVMA Chair Daniel R. Kuritzkes, MD. "President Jammeh is giving people false hope, while at the same time making them stop treatment that has been demonstrated to save lives."

"Any treatment that claims to alleviate this devastating disease must be subjected to rigorous scientific scrutiny," he added. "A growing body of evidence from Africa shows the lifesaving effects of antiretroviral medicines for people living with HIV/AIDS. On the other hand, the remedy President Jammeh is promoting is untested. It is highly unethical to stop a proven therapy to try an unproven one. We are extremely concerned that President Jammeh would recklessly experiment with his people's lives."

"We support the tireless efforts of African scientists, clinicians, and community health workers providing antiretroviral treatment to communities that are so deeply affected by this disease." Dr. Kuritzkes added. "We urge the government of the Gambia to support their efforts as well."

Dr. Kuritzkes concluded, "People around the world living with HIV/AIDS deserve safe, effective, and affordable treatment, regardless of the source. If President Jammeh's remedy is as effective as he claims, it will stand up to examination. In the meantime, we urge patients receiving his unproven herbal remedy to resume taking their antiretroviral medications, which have a well-established track record of saving lives in Africa."
-end-
HIVMA is the professional home for more than 3,600 physicians, scientists and other health care professionals dedicated to the field of HIV/AIDS. Nested within the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), HIVMA promotes quality in HIV care and advocates policies that ensure a comprehensive and humane response to the AIDS pandemic informed by science and social justice. IDSA is a professional society representing about 8,000 physicians and scientists who specialize in infectious diseases.

Infectious Diseases Society of America

Related HIV Articles from Brightsurf:

BEAT-HIV Delaney collaboratory issues recommendations measuring persistent HIV reservoirs
Spearheaded by Wistar scientists, top worldwide HIV researchers from the BEAT-HIV Martin Delaney Collaboratory to Cure HIV-1 Infection by Combination Immunotherapy (BEAT-HIV Collaboratory) compiled the first comprehensive set of recommendations on how to best measure the size of persistent HIV reservoirs during cure-directed clinical studies.

The Lancet HIV: Study suggests a second patient has been cured of HIV
A study of the second HIV patient to undergo successful stem cell transplantation from donors with a HIV-resistant gene, finds that there was no active viral infection in the patient's blood 30 months after they stopped anti-retroviral therapy, according to a case report published in The Lancet HIV journal and presented at CROI (Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections).

Children with HIV score below HIV-negative peers in cognitive, motor function tests
Children who acquired HIV in utero or during birth or breastfeeding did not perform as well as their peers who do not have HIV on tests measuring cognitive ability, motor function and attention, according to a report published online today in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Efforts to end the HIV epidemic must not ignore people already living with HIV
Efforts to prevent new HIV transmissions in the US must be accompanied by addressing HIV-associated comorbidities to improve the health of people already living with HIV, NIH experts assert in the third of a series of JAMA commentaries.

The Lancet HIV: Severe anti-LGBT legislations associated with lower testing and awareness of HIV in African countries
This first systematic review to investigate HIV testing, treatment and viral suppression in men who have sex with men in Africa finds that among the most recent studies (conducted after 2011) only half of men have been tested for HIV in the past 12 months.

The Lancet HIV: Tenfold increase in number of adolescents on HIV treatment in South Africa since 2010, but many still untreated
A new study of more than 700,000 one to 19-year olds being treated for HIV infection suggests a ten-fold increase in the number of adolescents aged 15 to 19 receiving HIV treatment in South Africa, according to results published in The Lancet HIV journal.

Starting HIV treatment in ERs may be key to ending HIV spread worldwide
In a follow-up study conducted in South Africa, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have evidence that hospital emergency departments (EDs) worldwide may be key strategic settings for curbing the spread of HIV infections in hard-to-reach populations if the EDs jump-start treatment and case management as well as diagnosis of the disease.

NIH HIV experts prioritize research to achieve sustained ART-free HIV remission
Achieving sustained remission of HIV without life-long antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a top HIV research priority, according to a new commentary in JAMA by experts at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

The Lancet HIV: PrEP implementation is associated with a rapid decline in new HIV infections
Study from Australia is the first to evaluate a population-level roll-out of pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) in men who have sex with men.

Researchers date 'hibernating' HIV strains, advancing BC's leadership in HIV cure research
Researchers have developed a novel way for dating 'hibernating' HIV strains, in an advancement for HIV cure research.

Read More: HIV News and HIV Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.