Chinese Journal of Integrative Medicine

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 3–8 | Cite as

Effect of traditional Chinese medicine for treating human immunodeficiency virus infections and acquired immune deficiency syndrome: Boosting immune and alleviating symptoms

  • Wen Zou (邹 雯)
  • Jian Wang (王 健)Email author
  • Ying Liu (刘 颖)
Feature Article


To respond to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic in China, the integration of antiretroviral therapy (ART) and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has important implications in health outcomes, especially in China where the use of TCM is widespread. The National Free TCM Pilot Program for HIV Infected People began in 5 provinces (Henan, Hebei, Anhui, Hubei, and Guangdong) in 2004, and quickly scaled up to 19 provinces, autonomous regions, and municipalities in China including some places with high prevalence, 26,276 adults have been treated thus far. Usually, people with HIV infection seek TCM for four main reasons: to enhance immune function, to treat symptoms, to improve quality of life, and to reduce side effects related to medications. Evidences from randomized controlled clinical trials suggested some beneficial effects of use of traditional Chinese herbal medicine for HIV infections and AIDS. More proofs from large, well-designed, rigorous trials is needed to give firm support. Challenges include interaction between herbs and antiretroviral drugs, stigma and discrimination. The Free TCM Program has made considerable progress in providing the necessary alternative care and treatment for HIV-infected people in China, and has strong government support for continued improvement and expansion, establishing and improving a work mechanism integrating Chinese and Western medicines.


human immunodeficiency virus traditional Chinese medicine immune symptoms 


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Copyright information

© Chinese Association of the Integration of Traditional and Western Medicine and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen Zou (邹 雯)
    • 1
  • Jian Wang (王 健)
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ying Liu (刘 颖)
    • 1
  1. 1.Center of AIDS Treatment with Traditional Chinese MedicineChina Academy of Chinese Medical SciencesBeijingChina

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