Complementary therapies are treatments and interventions that are used in addition to standard medical approaches, such as antiretroviral therapy. In contrast, alternative therapies are used instead of standard medical approaches.

Complementary therapies: latest news

Complementary therapies resources

  • Complementary approaches

    Many people with hepatitis use complementary or alternative therapies, either as a treatment for liver disease or to help relieve symptoms or side-effects. Some people with liver disease use...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Vitamins and minerals

    Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that our body needs in order to work properly. These nutrients occur naturally in food. Most people, including people living with HIV, can get all...

    From: Booklets

    Information level Level 2
  • Vitamins, minerals and herbal supplements

    A balanced diet will provide all the vitamins and minerals most people need.Large doses of vitamin and mineral supplements can be harmful.Several herbal remedies can interact dangerously...

    From: Factsheets

    Information level Level 2
  • Hypericin (St John's wort)

    Hypericin is a substance derived from the herb Hypericum perforatum, commonly known as St John’s wort or goatweed. Herbal preparations of St John’s wort at a...

    From: HIV treatments directory

    Information level Level 4

Complementary therapies in your own words

Complementary therapies news from aidsmap

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Complementary therapies news selected from other sources

  • With no antiretrovirals, Venezuela HIV patients rely on leaf remedy

    As Venezuela’s hyperinflation and chronic medicine shortages leave HIV patients with little hope of obtaining antiretroviral drugs, many are now relying on the leaves of a tropical tree known as the guasimo.

    13 December 2018 | Reuters
  • Nigerian herbal medicines widely used by HIV positive people can contain antiretrovirals

    Herbal medicine use among HIV positive people in Nigeria is widespread, poorly recorded and often precedes ART initiation. Contamination with antiretrovirals is possible and concerning, particularly in untreated people, say the authors of a study of herbal medicine presented at CROI 2016.

    24 March 2016 | HIV i-Base
  • Superhero Vaginal Bacteria Species Traps HIV, Could Be a Natural Condom Someday

    The benevolent powers of the vaginal microbiome are even greater than we thought. In addition to aiding fertilization and protecting fetuses during pregnancy, healthy vaginal mucus that’s full of good bacteria can trap and immobilize HIV particles. The study examined the cervicovaginal mucus, or CVM, of 31 women and tested its ability to immobilize HIV particles. CVM samples that contained higher concentrations of D-lactic acid, which only bacteria can produce, did far better than others. The D-lactic acid wasn’t itself a barrier to HIV, but an indicator of something else going on that made certain types of CVM better at trapping the virus than others. That something was Lactobacillus crispatus, a species of bacteria that could change the way we think about HIV prevention.

    08 October 2015 | Slate
  • Vitamin B12 During Hepatitis C Treatment

    Although requiring further investigation, a study has demonstrated Vitamin B12 as capable of boosting the success of Hepatitis C treatment.

    22 August 2012 | Hepatitis Central
  • Herbal HIV drugs from China for Kenyan market

    The Government will begin distributing herbal anti-HIV supplement from China that has been proved to significantly boost immunity of people living with HIV and Aids who are not on anti-retroviral therapies. 

    02 April 2012 | The Standard
  • Yoga Helps HIV-Positive Rape Victims In Rwanda

    "Women will tell you that before yoga, they were crippled with aches and pains; they felt old. Now they crave yoga because when they feel physically stronger, they feel more confident and optimistic," the instructor says.

    01 August 2011 | Huffington Post
  • UK: The faith healers who claim they can cure cancer and HIV

    A group of faith healers who claim they have miracle cures for cancer and HIV have been condemned as "irresponsible, even criminal" by a professor of complementary medicine, following a BBC Newsnight investigation.

    29 June 2011 | BBC Newsnight (video)
  • Swaziland: Thabile Xaba, 'I Can Take the ARVs Now if I Like But I Must Consult the Ancestors'

    Most Swazis go to traditional healers if they feel ill, but in a country with the world's highest HIV prevalence rate healers are struggling to cope. Thabile Xaba, 37, a healer who has been diagnosed HIV-positive at a clinic, told IRIN about her experiences.

    02 March 2011 | IRIN Plus News
  • UK: Herbal medicine to be regulated

    Herbal and Chinese medicine practitioners will be allowed to continue trading under Government plans to side-step a European ban on unlicensed treatments.

    16 February 2011 | Daily Telegraph
  • Uganda: HIV Activists Want Errant Religious Leaders Convicted

    ACTIVISTS have demanded that the HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Bill, 2010 provide for legal action against religious leaders and traditional healers who extort money from the public in the guise of curing AIDS.

    03 February 2011 | AllAfrica
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Community Consensus Statement on Access to HIV Treatment and its Use for Prevention

Together, we can make it happen

We can end HIV soon if people have equal access to HIV drugs as treatment and as PrEP, and have free choice over whether to take them.

Launched today, the Community Consensus Statement is a basic set of principles aimed at making sure that happens.

The Community Consensus Statement is a joint initiative of AVAC, EATG, MSMGF, GNP+, HIV i-Base, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, ITPC and NAM/aidsmap

This content was checked for accuracy at the time it was written. It may have been superseded by more recent developments. NAM recommends checking whether this is the most current information when making decisions that may affect your health.

NAM’s information is intended to support, rather than replace, consultation with a healthcare professional. Talk to your doctor or another member of your healthcare team for advice tailored to your situation.