International AIDS Day takes place on the 1st December each year. AIDS is a serious condition caused by the infection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It damages a person’s immune system and its ability to fight against the disease. A person may get infected with HIV if they have a sexual contact.
Several AIDS-related conditions are Candidiasis, Diarrhoea, Herpes zoster, Malaria, Lack of appetite, Coughing, Tuberculosis, Meningitis, Toxoplasmosis, Cryptosporidiosis, Kidney ailment, and Neurological Complications etc. Many plants help to cure these complications.
In the Uganda study, 25 traditional medicine practitioners (TMPs) were interviewed using structured questionnaires. The majority of practitioners treated patients who were already receiving allopathic medicines including anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) prescribed by allopathic practitioners.
There were 103 species of medicinal plants identified in this survey. Priority plants identified include Aloe spp., Erythrina abyssinica, Sarcocephalus latifolius, Psorospermum febrifugum, Mangifera indica and Warburgia salutaris. There was the low consensus among TMPs on the plants used. Decoctions of multiple plant species were commonly used except in Gulu where mono-preparations were common.
Numerous medicinal plants for treatment of HIV/AIDS patients were identified in the four districts surveyed and the role of these plants in the management of opportunistic infections warrants further investigation as these plants may have a role in Uganda’s public health approach to HIV/AIDS control.
In the study of Caprivi region, Namibia, an Ethno-botanical survey was conducted to record the various plant families, species, and plant parts used to manage different HIV/AIDS-related opportunistic infections. The results show that traditional healers manage several AIDS-related conditions using a single plant species.
On the other hand, different traditional healers also used more than one plant species. Therefore, indigenous knowledge of the medicinal use of plants is dynamic and varies according to healers, disease condition, and availability of plant species.
The most plant parts used were leaves (33%), bark (32%), and roots (28%) while the least used plant parts were fruits/seeds (4%). The families Myrtaceae and Lamiaceae were endowed with terpenoids, biological compounds that enhance and maintain body immunity.
The plants, Adansonia digitata L. (Baobab), Aloe zebrina (Aloe), Annona senegalensis Pers. (Dwarf custard apple), Moringa stenopetala L. (Phantom Tree), Psidium guajava L. (Guava), Dalbergia melanoxylon Guill. & Perr. (Zebrawood), Dichrostachys cinerea (L.) showed a good response to the study.
The red ribbon is the global symbol of solidarity with HIV-positive people and those living with AIDS. World AIDS Day is one of the eight official global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO). The plants play a key role in the cure for an immunity disorders, indirectly the AIDS.
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