Four HIV Patients Die After Using Herbal Treatment in Gombe


The Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS Patients in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) in Gombe has revealed that four of its members have lost their lives after using herbal treatment for HIV.

The programme officer of NEPWHAN, Muhammad Ibrahim, made this disclosure on Thursday at an event to mark the 2023 World AIDS Day.

He said that the use of herbal therapy for HIV treatment was a worrying trend in the state, as many of its members were patronising unverified and unregulated herbal products.

Ibrahim urged the government and other stakeholders to intervene and stop the circulation of alternative HIV treatments in Gombe.

He said that many HIV-positive patients were being deceived by the hawkers of the herbal products, who claimed to have discovered the cure for HIV.

The officer added that there was no scientific evidence to back up the claims of the herbal practitioners and that many of the patients who used the herbal treatment had died as a result of complications.

“A lot of our members are subscribing and using herbal medicine based on the information being spread by the hawkers of traditional medicine who are everywhere in Gombe. These people are openly advertising and claiming that they have discovered the treatment of HIV as a result a lot of our people are buying the medicine.

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“There is no scientific proof that the herbal treatments are real, so we want the government to look into this and do the needful. Anybody that claims to have found treatment for HIV should be identified and invited by the government to verify his claims and certify it before public sales and use,” he said.

The commissioner of health in Gombe, Habu Dahiru, also warned against the use of herbal medicines for HIV treatment, saying that they could cause more harm than good.

He advised NEPWHAN members and all those living with HIV Patients to stick to the conventional antiretroviral therapy, which was proven to be effective and safe. He said that Gombe had achieved remarkable progress in the fight against HIV, as 95 per cent of suspected cases were tested and placed on medication, and 95 per cent of those on medication had achieved viral suppression.