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American Journal of TROPICAL MEDICINE & Public Health, ISSN: 2248-986X,Vol.: 1, Issue.: 3 (October-December)

Case Study

Traditional Medicines for HIV/AIDS and Opportunistic Infections in North-West Cameroon: Case of Skin Infections


Emmanuel Noumi1* and Patricia Nung Manga1

1Plant Laboratory, Higher Teachers’ Training College, University of Yaoundé I, P.O. Box 47, Yaoundé, Cameroon.


Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate the treatment of HIV/AIDS with locally available medicinal plants and its opportunistic infections, mainly skin diseases, in the population of Mezam Division, North-West Cameroon.
Methods: Information was gathered from 3 target groups: patients registered in the regional hospital of Bamenda; patients encountered during fieldwork; and traditional healers.
Results: The prevalence of HIV/AIDS is real in the Mezam Division and girls and women are relatively more infected. Out of thirty-five former and new patients interviewed, 8.5% used only anti-retroviral drugs (ARV) and 20% used both conventional and traditional medicines. Forty-one plant species belonging to 39 genera and 23 families were collected. They form 29 therapeutic preparations used to treat the pandemic. Ten patients were ‘’treated’’, i.e., they were symptom-free in this awareness-based medicine. Traditional healers used preparations made of Aloe barteri, Artemisia annua, Citrus aurantiifolia, Moringa oleifera and Vernonia guinneensis. Opportunistic skin infections such as herpes zoster, kaposi’s sarcoma and ringworm were easily treated by Aloe barteri, Leea guineensis, Pteleopsis hylodendron and Zehneria scabra. Chemistry and pharmacology confirm the virtues of these plants, as they produce flavonoids, antioxidants and antifungals.
Conclusion: The traditional healers of the Mezam Division overcome non-complicated HIV/AIDS-related disorders. The chemical composition of plant species used in the combined therapy principle shows some efficiency of the therapeutic preparations used.

Keywords : Viral infection; HIV/AIDS; Phytotherapy; Mezam Division; Cameroon;

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