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There are ten million people living in Zambia. Every fifth person is infected with HIV or living with AIDS. Life-prolonging antiviral drugs that are made in the West cost around 500$ a month which is an unthinkable sum for most people living in Zambia.

This country and many others in southern Africa have been trying to find ways to reduce HIV infections but along the way they have been loosing qualified professionals, also HIV infected, faster than they are able to train replacements.

This is why they have started clinical trials of herbal medicines for AIDS that could help boost the immune system. Fourteen natural remedies were first submitted for preliminary tests, but only three had made it to the final stage of clinical trials. The Zambian team is doing an extensive research on the drugs’ potential benefits. They are using WHO’s guidelines on herbal remedies and meeting their specifications. The initial trials showed that the drugs are capable of reducing the viral load, and increase CD4 cells, which defend the body.

The trial includes 25 patients who will be taking the three herbal remedies for three months. This is a very important moment for Zambia as it is trying to connect conventional and traditional medicine.

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I think its kind of scary they are using herbal medicines to try to combat AIDS. I think we need to incorporate more education and use of condoms in the fight against AIDS.
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