China promotes traditional medicine to combat AIDS

February 6, 2017

China will double the number of AIDS patients it treats with traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), officials have said, part of a broader push to increase the use of the ancient practice in the country's medical system.

The promotion of TCM is part of a five-year plan from the State Council, China's cabinet, to tackle HIV/AIDS.

"The number of people living with AIDS who are treated with traditional Chinese medicine should be twice what it was in 2015," the State Council said on its website Sunday.

The plan outlined collaboration between traditional Chinese medicine departments and national health and family planning commissions "to find a therapeutic regimen which combines traditional Chinese (TCM) and Western medicines".

The TCM push aligns with a recent effort by the government to make the practice a priority for both development and publicity.

TCM, dating back thousands of years, treats ailments using herbal mixtures and physical therapies such as acupuncture and cupping.

The science behind such remedies has long been questioned. Last month medical researchers disputed a study claiming that acupuncture could cure babies of colic.

In late December the Chinese legislature passed its first TCM law, which will allow practitioners to be licensed and make it easier for them to open clinics.

There are about 450,000 TCM practitioners across the country, according to the State Council Information Office.

The government sees the practice as a cost-saving alternative to modern healthcare.

The new initiative to tackle HIV/AIDS will aim to reduce "AIDS-related homosexual behavior" by at least 10 percent and mother-to-children transmission rates to less than four percent.

In a 2015 report China told the UN that it had 501,000 cases of HIV/AIDS as of the end of 2014.

Explore further: China diagnosed 104,000 new HIV/AIDs cases in 2014: report

Related Stories

China diagnosed 104,000 new HIV/AIDs cases in 2014: report

January 16, 2015
China diagnosed 104,000 new cases of HIV/AIDS in 2014, media reported Friday, highlighting growth in infections in the country despite a comparatively low overall rate.

Olympics: Phelps gives 'cupping' a boost in China

August 11, 2016
Star US swimmer Michael Phelps has captured headlines in Rio's Olympic pool this week for his astonishing lifetime haul of gold medals, and for the curious red circles on his shoulder.

Study shows how Chinese medicine kills cancer cells

September 8, 2016
Researchers at the University of Adelaide have shown how a complex mix of plant compounds derived from ancient clinical practice in China – a traditional Chinese medicine – works to kill cancer cells.

Can traditional chinese medicine offer treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's disease?

September 20, 2016
A new study of classical Chinese medical texts identifies references to age-related memory impairment similar to modern-day Alzheimer's disease, and to several plant-based ingredients used centuries ago—and still in use ...

Recommended for you

HIV exports viral protein in cellular packages

February 15, 2018
HIV may be able to affect cells it can't directly infect by packaging a key protein within the host's cellular mail and sending it out into the body, according to a new study out of a University of North Carolina Lineberger ...

Can gene therapy be harnessed to fight the AIDS virus?

February 13, 2018
For more than a decade, the strongest AIDS drugs could not fully control Matt Chappell's HIV infection. Now his body controls it by itself, and researchers are trying to perfect the gene editing that made this possible.

Big data methods applied to the fitness landscape of the HIV envelope protein

February 7, 2018
Despite significant advances in medicine, there is still no effective vaccine for the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), although recent hope has emerged through the discovery of antibodies capable of neutralizing diverse ...

Scientists report big improvements in HIV vaccine production

February 5, 2018
Research on HIV over the past decade has led to many promising ideas for vaccines to prevent infection by the AIDS virus, but very few candidate vaccines have been tested in clinical trials. One reason for this is the technical ...

Microbiome research refines HIV risk for women

January 25, 2018
Drawing from data collected for years by AIDS researchers in six African nations, scientists have pinpointed seven bacterial species whose presence in high concentrations may significantly increase the risk of HIV infection ...

Researchers find latent HIV reservoirs inherently resistant to elimination by CD8+ T-cells

January 22, 2018
The latest "kick-and-kill" research to eliminate the HIV virus uncovered a potential obstacle in finding a cure. A recent study by researchers at the George Washington University (GW) found that latent HIV reservoirs show ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.