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Homoeopathy and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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dc.contributor.author Buldeo, Nitasha
dc.date.accessioned 2008-08-04T13:43:39Z
dc.date.available 2008-08-04T13:43:39Z
dc.date.issued 2008-08-04T13:43:39Z
dc.date.submitted 2004
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/836
dc.description M. Tech
dc.description.abstract HIV/AIDS is currently one of the most devastating conditions affecting the health of millions throughout the world. In South Africa it is estimated that 4,74 million individuals between 15-49 years are infected with HIV despite the intensive HIV prevention programs that are in place. KwaZulu Natal (KZN) province of South Africa has the highest HIV prevalence in the country (Statistics South Africa, 1996; South African DOH, 2001). Only in August 2003, the South African government announced that it would provide anti-aids drugs free of charge in the public sector. Previously this was unavailable to most HIV-infected South Africans. However despite the governments plan to roll out the provision of ARVs, there are mammoth logistical and human capacity challenges confronting the implementation of a treatment program of this magnitude. Furthermore due to the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS, the high cost of treatment and the association of symptomatic treatment with emergence of drug resistance, many patients with HIV/AIDS are seeking help from alternative systems of medicine. With the worldwide sales of homoeopathic products in 1997 estimated to be $1.5 billion, homoeopathy is growing and becoming an important aspect of healthcare. However in South Africa homoeopathy is relatively new and there seems to be a limited awareness of homoeopathy amongst the public and healthcare authorities. For this reason the Technikon Witwatersrand’s’ (TWR), Department of Homoeopathy has instituted a 3 Phase HIV/AIDS Research strategy in order to identify alternative remedies and support structures that could be useful in controlling the HIV/AIDS pandemic. This study aims to achieve phase one of the TWR’s 3 phase strategy. This study initiated the collection of basic data on the extent homoeopaths are treating HIV/AIDS, the current approaches utilised by the homoeopaths in KwaZulu Natal in the treatment of HIV/AIDS and the need for additional training for homoeopaths with regards to HIV/AIDS. The study was carried out by using the survey method and the measuring tool was a self-administered questionnaire as well as an interview. The study population (n = 59) comprised only registered homoeopathic practitioners of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The study was completed in four stages. Stage 1 comprised mailing a covering letter together with the questionnaire and self addressed stamped return envelope. Stage 2 and 3 involved the mailing of reminder letters to the study population. Stage 4 which was only carried out when the data from the questionnaire was analyses consisted of either a face to face or telephonic interview of practitioners. The data was analysed by means of descriptive statistics using the SPSS version 11.0 statistical program. The Mann-Whitney test, Kruskal-Wallis Test (non-parametric ANOVA) and Dunn’s Multiple Comparison Test which was used as a post-test to the Kruskal-Wallis and the Spearman Rank Correlation were used to test the association between various factors in the questionnaire. On analysing the results it can be seen that the demographics of practitioners who treat HIV-positive patients have been influenced by the political-legal and training history of Homoeopathy in South Africa. The majority of respondents in this survey are graduates of Durban Institute of Technology are White and have had less than ten years experience. It has been found that locality of the practice, race of the practitioner and the number of years in practice has an influence on the number of HIV-positive patients that the practitioner treats. Homoeopaths who practice in rural areas rather than urban, treat larger numbers of HIV-positive patients. Black homoeopaths see more HIV-positive patients than white homoeopaths. The longer a practitioner was in practice the more HIV-positive patients are seen. Homoeopathic simplex was the most frequently used treatment for HIV/AIDS patients. This was followed by vitamin supplementation and the use of homoeopathic complex. In addition, it was found that more than 90% of the respondents felt the need for further training with regards to HIV/AIDS. Specific topics that should be addressed were evaluated. This study raised many areas of concern with regards to the treatment of HIV/AIDS using homoeopathy and strongly highlights the need for more information and further research. en
dc.description.sponsorship Professor A. N. Smith Dr. N. Wolf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.subject Homeopathic treatment of AIDS (disease) en
dc.subject Homeopathic treatment of HIV infection en
dc.title Homoeopathy and the HIV/AIDS epidemic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa en
dc.type Thesis en

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