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

New method allows scientists to study how HIV persists

April 24, 2018
After 35 years of rigorous research, there is still no cure for HIV. Current drugs can be used to halt the infection, but fall short of reaching hidden reserves of dormant virus that can lurk for life within infected white ...

HIV-1 viruses transmitted at birth are resistant to antibodies in mother's blood

April 19, 2018
Of the genetically diverse population of HIV-1 viruses present in an infected pregnant woman, the few she might transmit to her child during delivery are resistant to attack by antibodies in her blood, according to new research ...

Top HIV cure research team refutes major recent results on how to identify HIV persistence

April 18, 2018
An international team focused on HIV cure research spearheaded by The Wistar Institute in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania and Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) in Barcelona, Spain, established that ...

Scientists discover new way that HIV evades the immune system

April 17, 2018
Scientists have just discovered a new mechanism by which HIV evades the immune system, and which shows precisely how the virus avoids elimination. The new research shows that HIV targets and disables a pathway involving a ...

Team develops new way to fight HIV transmission

April 16, 2018
Scientists at the University of Waterloo have developed a new tool to protect women from HIV infection.

Genetically altered broadly neutralizing antibodies protect monkeys from HIV-like virus

April 16, 2018
Two genetically modified broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) protected rhesus macaques from an HIV-like virus, report scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National ...

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.