Use of Traditional Medicine by HIV/AIDS Patients in Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana: A Cross-sectional Survey
Razak Mohammed Gyasi, MPhil Candidate, Eva Tagoe-Darko, Charlotte Monica Mensah

The aim of this cross-sectional study was to assess the use of traditional medicine by people living with HIV adhering to antiretroviral therapies in Kumasi Metropolis, Ghana. Using systematic random sampling technique, 62 HIV-seropositive persons were chosen from outpatient departments in three public hospitals and interviewed via interviewer administered questionnaire. Data were subjected to descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression through PASW for Windows application programme, version 17.0. The findings suggest that traditional medicine was commonly accessed for HIV/AIDS (33, 53.2%) and herbal therapy remained frequently used form of traditional medicine (23, 70%). Traditional medicines were mainly used for appetite (90.9%), pain relief (87.9%), stress relief (63.6%) and general wellbeing (75.8%). Most participants (93.9%) did not disclose traditional medicine use for HIV/AIDS to their orthodox medical providers. Multivariate logistic regression on demographics identified educational attainment (P=0.013), residence (P=0.001) and employment history (P=0.043) as significant with use of traditional therapies. An evaluation of traditional healers’ role in managing HIV/AIDS is exigent and should be brought into a sharp focus. However, concomitant traditional medicine use with antiretroviral therapies has the propensity for drug interactions and should be discussed routinely in antiretroviral therapy counselling sessions.

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