Zimbabwe Launches Registry Of Practitioners Treating HIV/AIDS

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TheZimbabwe National Traditional Healers' Association on Friday at a meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe,launched a register of practitioners who treat HIV/AIDS, The Herald/AllAfrica.com reports.

According to Tapera Dzviti, ZINATHA's secretary for information and policy, thegroup has reached an agreement with physicians to refer people living withHIV/AIDS to traditional healers. Under the agreement, traditional healers whohave registered with ZINATHA will treat three people living with HIV/AIDS whoare not taking antiretroviral drugs for a set amount of time while physiciansadminister tests to determine whether the patients' CD4+ T cell counts areimproving. The group this week will begin inviting HIV-positive people toparticipate in the trial, Dzviti said (The Herald/AllAfrica.com, 1/14). Dzvitiadded that if positive treatment outcomes are observed, the trial "couldhelp dispel myths associated with traditional medicines."

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The group also called on the government to support its research. Dzviti saidthe group requires additional resources to refine traditional treatments. Zimbabwe"has a lot of herbs that can be used to treat various ailments that are associated"with HIV/AIDS, Dzviti said. He added that the group is calling on members to"come forward with herbs and medicines that can help cure manifestationsof the disease so that research can be done" (The Herald/AllAfrica.com, 1/15). The government has said it is committed to incorporatingtraditional remedies into the country's health care delivery system.

The group at the meeting also discussed ways to address traditional healers whoclaim to cure HIV/AIDS and take money from people. The government hasestablished a Traditional Medical Practitioners Council to regulate and developguidelines for the practice, and Dzviti said ZINATHA wants "to settle theissue" of healers taking money from HIV-positive people "once and forall" (The Herald/AllAfrica.com, 1/14).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Reportis published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser FamilyFoundation.

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