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 simulation tool predicts how well HIV-prophylaxis will work

June 14, 2018
A new mathematical simulation approach predicts the efficacy of pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) medications, which help prevent HIV infection. The framework, presented in PLOS Computational Biology by Sulav Duwal ...

Many at risk for HIV despite lifesaving pill

June 11, 2018
Multiple barriers may stop high-risk individuals from accessing an HIV drug that can reduce the subsequent risk of infection, according to a new University of Michigan study.

Active HIV in large white blood cells may drive cognitive impairment in infected mice

June 7, 2018
Macrophages, large white blood cells that engulf and destroy potential pathogens, harbor active viral reserves that appear to play a key role in impaired learning and memory in mice infected with a rodent version of HIV. ...

HIV vaccine elicits antibodies in animals that neutralize dozens of HIV strains

June 4, 2018
An experimental vaccine regimen based on the structure of a vulnerable site on HIV elicited antibodies in mice, guinea pigs and monkeys that neutralize dozens of HIV strains from around the world. The findings were reported ...

HIV study reveals new group of men at risk of infection

June 4, 2018
A group of men who may be underestimating their HIV risk has been identified in a new study.

Discovery reveals how cells try to control levels of key HIV protein

May 31, 2018
One of the many challenges in treating HIV is that the virus can lie dormant in cells, quietly evading immune detection until it suddenly roars to life without warning and begins replicating furiously. Salk Institute researchers ...

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.