Combining conventional and complementary therapies
Always tell your HIV doctor about any complementary therapies or supplements you may be using. Listen to any doubts your doctor might express about your chosen complementary approach. Although a good doctor will respect your choice, you should take note of any evidence he offers to show that a therapy doesn’t have any benefit or is even harmful. On the other hand, if you have a major disagreement with your doctor it could be that another doctor at your HIV clinic has a more sympathetic attitude towards complementary therapies.
It’s extremely important that you find out if you can combine your complementary therapies with your orthodox treatment. It’s particularly important if you are taking herbal remedies or supplements of any kind. Some herbal remedies and supplements interact with anti-HIV drugs. As well as the interactions that are already known, there could well be others, as the way in which herbal remedies and medicines interact hasn’t been studied very extensively.
You should tell your complementary therapist about any HIV or other medicines you are receiving. This will help them to avoid interactions. Some complementary therapy practitioners take the view that orthodox medicines contribute to, or even cause, illness. They should, however, respect your choice to take conventional medicine.
It’s always worth remembering that the dramatic improvements in the health of many people with HIV, and the fall in illness and deaths caused by HIV, are due to effective HIV treatment. Treat with great suspicion any therapist who questions or denies this.