Zambia Approves Testing of Herbal HIV/AIDS Drug
The Zambian government has approved clinical trials of an herbal compound designed to treat HIV/AIDS, Xinhua News Agency/BBC Monitoring Africa reports. Zambian Health Minister Brian Chituwo said that he has asked ministry officials to draft an agreement on the trial with Tian Shengxun, who produces the medicine. Tian, an "expert in Chinese traditional medicine," currently sells the compound, called "Tian Immunity Booster," at his private surgery clinic in Lusaka. Tian said that the medicine can lower viral load and "effectively reverse" the serostatus of a patient over the course of four months. Chituwo said that authorizing clinical trials of the product is in line with World Health Organization statements that advocate the promotion of herbal and other traditional medicines. Trials will initially enroll 20 patients, who will be tested every three months until their viral loads drop to "non-detectable" levels, Tian said (Xinhua News Agency/BBC Monitoring Africa, 8/10).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.