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TCM Therapy for AIDS

TCM therapy for AIDS

Early in the mid-80s of last century, AIDS became rampant on the African continent. Tanzania was one of the badly hit disaster areas. The tremendous number of deaths caused by AIDS made precarious the economic development of the region and endangered the very existence of the nation. During a visit to China in 1987, the president of Tanzania expressed the hope that the Chinese government would send experts in traditional Chinese medical science and medicines to help Tanzania cope with the problem of AIDS. An agreement was signed with a hospital in Tanzania, by which the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine was obligated to send, under the direction of the Supervisory Bureau of Traditional Chinese Medicine of China, to Dar es Salaam, the capital city of Tanzania, a number of experts in traditional Chinese medicine to cooperate with Tanzanian medical personnel in evolving a program for treatment of AIDS patients by means of traditional Chinese medicine. More than fifty scholars of traditional Chinese medicine went to Dar es Salaam for the performance of this task. They treated the Tanzanians who had been infected by HIV and worked for them with so much love and devotion that quite a few of their patients were moved to tears.

Members of the expert team of the Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine lived and worked in very difficult conditions, but they bore the hardships without a murmur. They achieved remarkable success in treating Tanzanian patients who had been infected by HIV---more than ten thousand in number---and who pinned their hope of recovery on traditional Chinese medicine. The hope and trust of the Tanzanians spurred the team members on. They immersed themselves in clinical work and experimentations. The result was exhilarating. The special features of the AIDS epidemic and its governing laws of development came to be mastered, and more than a hundred dissertations were published. As to the question of how to endeavour to cure the disease itself, it was tackled by falling back upon and developing further the classical methods of traditional Chinese medicine. Explorations were made into the achievements of treating AIDS by relieving internal heat with an eye to detoxification; supplementing energy with the help of hematic tonics; treating asthenia and functional deterioration of the organs; strengthening the spleen and the kidneys; invigorating blood circulation and eliminating stasis and swelling; and replenishing vitality and filling up deficiencies. A score of prescriptions for fighting AIDS were successfully developed as a result of individual and collective research.

Generally speaking, traditional Chinese medicine has great advantages when used for fighting AIDS. First of all, its clinical efficacy rises continually. This is partly due to the fact that the emphasis of the therapeutic work shifts with the progress of the disease, that is, different means were used at different stages of development of the HIV infection.

The first stage of AIDS is not marked by any symptoms. Scholars of traditional Chinese medicine are of the opinion that the earlier the treatment of the disease starts, the better the result of the therapeutic work will be. What is of paramount importance at the beginning is the protection of the patient's immunological function, to keep at a minimum the damage to the patient's immunity that HIV causes, and to prolong the period when the disease is in quietude. This is in fact the greatest advantage to be gained by using traditional Chinese medicine. The best method for patients who are in the intermediate stage should be a combination of Western and traditional Chinese medicine so as to compensate for what is short in one with what is long in the other. Western drugs suppress HIV, whereas traditional Chinese medicines reduce toxicity and enhance efficacy. They increase the patients' tolerance of the anti-AIDS drugs and make it easier for them to comply with the request of having the detestable drugs administered to them by the nurses. Moreover, it is said that traditional Chinese medicines for anti-AIDS purposes are particularly effective for those patients who got infected purely by accident.

When a patient has arrived at the late stage of AIDS, scholars of traditional Chinese medicine would do their utmost to alleviate the symptoms and prolong his/her life as far as it is possible. Many Tanzanian AIDS patients who were very poor went on living for more than ten years by relying for therapy solely on traditional Chinese medicines.

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