A scientific plan for the evaluation of alternative medicine in the treatment of HIV/AIDS

Author: Standish L//Calabrese C//Reeves C//Bain S//O'Donnell T
Bastyr University AIDS Research Center in Seattle, Wash.
Conference/Journal: Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine
Date published: 1997
Other: Volume ID: 3 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 58-67 , Word Count: 220

The Bastvr University AIDS Research Center was established in
October 1994 through a 3-year cooperative grant with the Office of
Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. The mission of the Center is to (1) describe forms and patterns of use of alternative medical therapies for HIV infection and AIDS prescribed by practitioners and self-administered by HIV-positive patients in the United States, (2) screen and evaluate therapies/or HIV/AIDS from five program areas of alternative medicine, and (3) provide consultation and Support in the scientific evaluation of alternative therapies. To meet these goals, the Center has established a network of cooperating alternative medicine clinics and is recruiting HIV-positive men and women who are using alternative medicine to participate in the study. It is collecting data even' 6 months from 1500 HIV-positive patients throughout the United States and has created a centralized database to compare outcomes (CD4+ lymphocytes. HIVRNA, CDC class progression, weight, quality of life. and survival) for a variety of alternative therapies. The Center will determine whether patients who use both conventional medicine and alternative medicine have different outcomes from patients who use only conventional medicine. The occurrence of AlDS-related opportunistic infections and neoplasms in HIV-positive patients who are using specific alternative therapies will be compared with the incidence in those who use other medical treatment. This article describes the scientific plan for the study.