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HIV/AIDS Victims in Henan Get Free TCM Treatment
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More than 2,500 HIV/AIDS victims in central China's Henan Province have received free traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) treatment in the past two years, the provincial health authorities said.

"The province initiated a pilot program to treat HIV/AIDS with TCM in October 2004. Over two years 2,546 people were granted free TCM treatment," said Xia Zuchang on Tuesday when addressing a nationwide AIDS treatment meeting in Nanyang City.

At the end of 2006, the pilot program covered 269 villages in 13 counties or urban districts across the province, Xia said.

"However, resources are not sufficient to allow TCM to be used as a regular treatment method for people living with HIV/AIDS," Xia added.

TCM, often seen as an alternative in treating deadly diseases, is attractive to many AIDS patients because it alleviates AIDS symptoms and has fewer side effects than Western medicine.

Expert says those who have sought TCM treatment have seen the frequency with which they develop clinical symptoms such as fever and diarrhea reduced by three quarters and survival time prolonged.

According to Xia, the province will build on its experience of treating HIV/AIDS with TCM and will extend its pilot programs to more people.

Henan had reported 35,232 HIV/AIDS cases by the end of 2006. The province got a harsh blow from the virus because of widespread illegal blood selling in the province's poor countryside.

(Xinhua News Agency April 18, 2007)

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