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Ugandan Health Care Workers To Administer Acupuncture To People Living With HIV/AIDS

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Acupuncture To People Living With HIV/AIDS

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The Boston Globe on Monday examined the Brookline, Mass.-based Pan-African Acupuncture Project,a not-for-profit group that trains Ugandan health care workers toadminister acupuncture to people living with HIV/AIDS (Jeltsen, Boston Globe,7/16). There are about 1.1 million HIV-positive people in Uganda, andthe number of cases is expected to increase to 1.8 million by 2012 (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 1/29).

The program -- established in 2003 by Richard Mandell, an instructor at the New England School of Acupuncture -- was created in response to the "overwhelming" number of people living with the disease in the country, the Globereports. To train students on acupuncture techniques, Mandell wrote amanual with simplified instructions that teaches students how to findacupuncture points on the body and how to use needles. The manualallows students to practice acupuncture even if they do not understandwhy a point on the body correlates with a particular disorder orillness, the Globe reports. According to NIH, acupuncture significantly helps relieve chronic insomnia and diarrhea, two symptoms often experienced by HIV-positive people.

Accordingto Mandell, introducing acupuncture in developing countries such asUganda has many benefits, including economic ones. Providingacupuncture treatment to one person once weekly for one month in thecountry -- where the average annual salary is $280 -- costs $6, Mandellsaid. The program has trained 120 Ugandan health care workers in threedistricts, the Globe reports. Mandell said he hopes to expand the program to Malawi and other African countries (Boston Globe, 7/16).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork\t\t\t\t\t\t\t

Reprinted with permission fromkaisernetwork.org.You can view the entire KaiserDaily HIV/AIDS Report, search the archives, and signup for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email. The Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report is published forkaisernetwork.org,a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.