AIDS TREATMENT NEWS Issue #209, October 21, 1994
Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington, has received a
three-year, $840,000 grant from the Office of Alternative
Medicine to establish an Alternative Medicine Center for
research in HIV/AIDS. The new Center will:
* Research the patterns of use of alternative treatments for
AIDS and related conditions. What is the extent of use of
different treatments -- both prescribed by healthcare
providers, and self-administered? Are people informing their
mainstream physicians about what else they are using?
* Screen and evaluate therapies from the field of alternative
medicine, including reporting of adverse events.
* Train alternative medicine practitioners in the scientific
evaluation of their treatments.
* Educate the mainstream biomedical community in alternative
medical treatment of HIV infection and AIDS.
Bastyr University was founded by naturopathic physicians in
1978, and is now offers degrees in naturopathic medicine,
acupuncture and Oriental medicine, and nutrition. It is
accredited by the Northwest Association of the Schools and
Colleges. It has studied potential AIDS treatments for many
years, focusing on assembling scientific knowledge about
naturopathic and other alternative treatments. The current
grant is the first ever from the NIH to an educational
institution that trains alternative medicine practitioners.
The Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) was established as a
separate entity within the U.S. National Institutes of Health
(NIH) only last year, when President Clinton signed the
National Institutes of Health Revitalization Act of 1993. The
OAM has defined alternative medicine as "any medical practice
or intervention that: (a) lacks sufficient documentation in the
United States for safety and effectiveness against specific
diseases and conditions; (b) is not generally taught in U.S.
medical schools; and (c) is not generally reimbursable by
health insurance providers." The OAM recently funded another
center to evaluate alternative treatments for addictions and
For More Information
The Office of Alternative Medicine publishes a newsletter every
other month, and also has a general information paper and
several fact sheets available. Current fact sheets cover:
Frequently asked questions; Research programs of the OAM;
Classification of alternative medical practices; Upcoming
events sponsored by the OAM; Shark cartilage; Biofeedback;
HIV/AIDS and alternative therapies; and Directory of
alternative healthcare associations. For more information,
write to Information Center, Office of Alternative
Medicine/NIH, 6120 Executive Boulevard, EPS, Suite 450,
Rockville, MD 20852, or call 301/402-2466, or fax 301/402-
For more information about the Alternative Medicine Center for
Research in HIV/AIDS, or Bastyr University, write to Bastyr
University, 144 NE 54th Street, Seattle, WA 98105, phone
206/523-9585, fax 206/527-4763.