The traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has great prospects in dealing with HIV/AIDS, which has become one of the leading killers in Africa, said a Chinese TCM expert Tuesday.
"Generally speaking, the TCM could strengthen body's resistibility against diseases through enhancing the immunity in dealing with HIV/AIDS, as the HIV virus attacks body mainly by destroying the immunity system," said Prof. Wang Jian, director of AIDS Department of Institute of Basic Theory of China Academy of TCM, in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.
According to the results of some tests, while resisting the attacking of HIV virus to bodies, the TCM also has some obvious effects in dealing with symptoms such as weakness, cough, low fever and tetter, which help enhance the living qualities of AIDS patients, said Wang, who is also the leader of China's Project on Therapeutical Research on AIDS with TCM.
"One of the major advantages of the TCM compared with Western medicines is that the TCM is neutral and cheap. The research and development of TCM on HIV/AIDS will make a great contribution to the developing countries in the fight against HIV/AIDS," Wang told Xinhua during the sideline of the ongoing 13th International Conference on AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections in Africa (ICASA), which opened Sunday.
Talking about the cooperation between the TCM and traditional medicines in Africa, the middle-aged doctor said they've got some experience in this field.
"For instance, over 10,000 patients in Tanzania have benefited from the cooperation between doctors from China and Tanzania, which began in 1987," Wang said.
"At least the quality of life of these HIV/AIDS patients have been enhanced while being treated with the TCM and the friendship of the two peoples have also been strengthened."
As for the obstacles over control of HIV/AIDS spread in developing world such as Africa, Wang said poverty is the No. 1 hindrance.
"In Africa, some people with HIV/AIDS are poor, they can not get enough food to eat, how can they have money for treatment?"
Meanwhile, the Chinese expert also hailed the achievements made by the Africans in fighting HIV/AIDS, saying, "the education on HIV/AIDS in communities is well developed in Africa, which has seta good example to other countries in the world."
"Nowadays, more and more Africans are aware of the destructive effects of HIV/AIDS and they begin to face it and fight it."
During the satellite session of ICASA on Tuesday, Wang, who arrived last week for the conference, gave a speech on the current situation and prospect of treating AIDS by the TCM in China, which gained great attention from delegates.
ICASA, whose theme is "Access to Care: Challenges," is the biggest regional forum on Africa's AIDS problem.
Some 6,000 participants from Africa and other parts of the world attended the meeting to share experiences on challenges faced in accessing care to the HIV/AIDS infected and come up with strategies to improve the situation.
Previously, the International Women's AIDS Run, Kenya's largest ever mass-participation road race, was held last week to celebrate the opening of ICASA and the strength that African women bring to the struggle against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Africa is home to only 10 percent of the world's population and yet more than 70 percent of the people infected with HIV/AIDS live in Africa.
At least 60 million Africans have been directly impacted by HIV/AIDS: 30 million people are living with the deadly virus, more than 15 million have died from it, and more than 11 million have lost at least one parent to the epidemic.
(Xinhua News Agency September 24, 2003)