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Ann Afr Med. 2018 Jul-Sep;17(3):125-132. doi: 10.4103/aam.aam_39_17.

Prevalence and factors associated with the use of traditional medicines among human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome patients in Sokoto, Nigeria.

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Department of Community Health, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Nigeria.
Department of Community Health, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto, Nigeria.
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



In resource-scarce settings like Nigeria, access to conventional drugs and antiretroviral therapy (ART) is highly limited, hence the resort to use of traditional herbal medicine by a significant number of people living with human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) (PLWHAs). Traditional medicine (TM) continues to provide health coverage for most of the people in developing countries, and it is equally becoming increasingly popular in western countries.


This study aims to present the status and use of TM and determine the factors associated with its use among patients with HIV/AIDS on highly active ART in a tertiary health institution in Sokoto, Northwest Nigeria.


This was a descriptive, cross-sectional study involving HIV/AIDS patients attending antiretroviral treatment center of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH), Sokoto, Nigeria. The study population comprised PLWHAs attending the ART clinic of the hospital (UDUTH). A total of 271 respondents were recruited into the study and administered a set of pretested structured questionnaire. Ethical approval for this study was obtained from the ethical committee of the teaching hospital.


Only 11 (4.2%) of the respondents had used TM before, of whom 9 (5%) were females and 2 (2.7%) were males with P = 0.399. Only one of the respondents had side effects following the use of TM, and the most common reason for the use of TM was as a result of too much weight loss.


Although the use of TM among the study participants in Sokoto was low, there is need to educate PLWHAs about the possible risks of interactions following the concurrent use of TM and ART.


Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; Sokoto; people living with human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; traditional medicine

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