Nature, extent and implications of belief in Kikombe cha babu and other herbal HIV cures in Tanzania

Michelle R. Kaufman, Michael Ioerger, Jennifer J. Harman, Najmeh Modarres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study's objective was to describe awareness of, access to, belief in, and utilization of the healing tea Kikombe cha babu and other alternative treatments for HIV in Tanzania. Associations with HIV testing, treatment, and prevention behaviors are also explored. A survey with questions about alternative medicine was administered to a sample in Tanzania using a stratified, multistage random selection method. Adults were interviewed face-to-face. Items concerning alternative HIV treatments addressed awareness, access, beliefs, and treatment-seeking behaviors. Questions about HIV prevention and treatment were also asked. Results showed participants indicated a high awareness of alternative treatments available in Tanzania, with 95.3% of 2313 adults having heard of these treatments. Of those, 6.0% had actually sought the treatment, and 46.8% had an acquaintance seek it. However, 81.0% indicated these treatments were not easily accessible. There is a high level of belief in the ability of these alternative treatments to cure HIV, with 44.0% of people who had heard of these treatments indicating they believe such treatments can cure HIV. Additionally, many people indicated having these alternative treatments available would result in decreased condom use (15.6%), no need to use condoms (94.9%), and no need to take antiretroviral therapy (81.7%). However, 57.4% indicated they would be more likely to get tested for HIV if alternative treatments were available. Belief in the ability of alternative treatments to cure HIV in Tanzania is high and should be further explored due to its implications for potentially sidelining HIV prevention and treatment initiatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1541-1545
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS Care - Psychological and Socio-Medical Aspects of AIDS/HIV
Volume26
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 25 2014

Keywords

  • Alternative treatment
  • Faith healing
  • HIV cure
  • Tanzania
  • Traditional medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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