Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (01/95-
Using a multiple-choice questionnaire, Dwyer et al. compared
the use of and attitudes toward unconventional remedies among
two groups of HIV-positive men in Northern California. The
first group was enrolled in clinical trial protocols for
various National Institutes of Health-approved treatments for
HIV infection at an AIDS Clinical Trials Unit (ACTU), while
the comparison group consisted of a self-help group of
patients at a community healthcare clinic in San Francisco.
Eighty-five percent of the study participants attending the
community health center had used unconventional therapies,
compared to 58 percent enrolled in the ACTU's clinical trial.
Altogether, 70 percent of all participants had used
unconventional remedies at least once. While 54 percent of the
respondents said that AZT was the most useful treatment for
their health problem, other remedies include diet and
nutrition counseling, acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and
hypnosis. The men enrolled in the clinical trial protocols
for investigational drugs used unconventional remedies
significantly less than the community health center
participants, who were enrolled in an open trial of hypericin,
an unproven treatment.