Herbal HIV treatment claims lives in Gombe State
Ibrahim urged the government and stakeholders to regulate and monitor the circulation of alternative HIV treatments in the state.
The disclosure was made by Muhammad Ibrahim, the Programme Officer of the association, during an event commemorating the 2023 World AIDS Day.
Expressing deep concern over the increasing patronage of unorthodox medications, Ibrahim urged the government and stakeholders to regulate and monitor the circulation of alternative HIV treatments in the state.
He stated the urgency of addressing the rampant use of herbal therapy, which, he claimed, has led to fatal consequences.
"A lot of our members are subscribing and using herbal medicine based on the information being spread by the hawkers of the traditional medicine who are everywhere in Gombe," Ibrahim stated, highlighting the open advertising and claims of discovering HIV treatment by some herbal practitioners.
He called for government intervention in identifying individuals who assert having found HIV treatment, inviting them for verification and certification before public sale and use.
Ibrahim stressed the lack of scientific proof for the efficacy of herbal treatments, urging caution among those seeking alternatives to conventional medical approaches.
Dr Habu Dahiru, the Commissioner for Health in Gombe State, echoed Ibrahim's sentiments, asserting that there is no scientific evidence supporting the efficacy of herbal medicines in treating HIV.
He warned against the use of unverified remedies, citing potential damage to vital organs such as the liver and kidneys.
"We do not have any scientific evidence that herbal medicines are working, but antiretroviral drugs are working, and when we do the viral load test, you see it reducing; it is scientific," remarked Dr Dahiru.
He stated the importance of undergoing rigorous testing and certification before the approval of any drug or herbal remedy.
In the fight against the HIV scourge, Dr Dahiru highlighted the state's achievements, citing a 95% success rate in testing suspected cases and placing them on medication.
He also noted a 95% viral suppression rate among those on medication, expressing commitment to maintaining and improving these statistics.
As the World AIDS Day is commemorated on December 1 with the theme "Let communities lead," the call for increased awareness, regulation, and reliance on scientifically proven treatments remains crucial in the battle against HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.
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