Complementary therapies Also known as Natural Therapies or Alternative therapies

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Any treatment or therapy that does not fall within the realm of conventional medicine. Often it is based on historical or cultural traditions, and may not have scientific evidence, nor have been researched in a HIV context. There is no alternative therapy which directly or primarily treats HIV like conventional medicine HIV ARV treatments do. ‘Alternative’ therapy should not be considered as an ‘alternative’ or replacement for HIV ARV treatments. However, where good scientific evidence exists, some alternative therapies may be considered ‘complementary’ to HIV medicine, so long as the complementary therapy does not interact with HIV ARV treatment and is without added side effects. This may include dietary and micronutrient supplements. There is some HIV specific research which has demonstrated added health benefits for HIV using certain micronutrients (such as B group vitamins) which are considered health supportive generally. Other alternative or complementary therapies include acupuncture, herbal medicine and practices like yoga or meditation. The benefits or risks of each field of alternative therapy need to be closely examined for such. Be sure to discuss any alternative or complementary therapies you take with your doctor or primary health care provider.