Herbal HIV/Aids treatment announced

Indonesian researchers working on a herbal treatment for HIV/Aids say they hope to release a final product in 2014.

The Thai Red Cross Aids Research Centre demonstrates to mark World Aids Day 2010. Researchers in Indonesia say they are hopeful of finding a herbal cure for the disease. Photo by Apichit Jinakul.

A team at the University of Airlangga in Surabaya has been studying several active substances from plants for the past two years in an attempt to find a herbal cure for the human immunodeficiency virus.

Substances from two plants – Justicia gendarussa and Camelia sinesis – have been found to have the ability to reduce the count of HIV, based on test tube experiments, Nasronudin, head of the university’s Institute of Tropical Disease, told the Jakarta Globe.

The next step was to commence tests on “living beings, from animals to humans,” Nasronudin said. 

He added that the final research results will provide clues for a possible cure for HIV/Aids and that manufacturing would be handled by a pharmaceutical company capable of mass production. 

Nasronudin said the product would be an antiretroviral (ARV) medicine, a treatment that assists HIV/Aids patients to lower the viral load in their blood. 

“Hopefully, Indonesia can produce HIV/Aids medicine on its own, so that we do not need to continue to import it,” he said.

“If we create the medication ourselves, the price can be cheaper and therefore the coverage wider. That way all those who need this cure can access it.”

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