Listed in Issue 95


ANASTASI and MCMAHON, Columbia University School of Nursing, New York, USA, have tested strategies to reduce diarrhoea in persons with HIV infection using traditional Chinese medicine.


Diarrhoea affects more than 60% of persons with HIV/AIDS. It can be caused by pathogens, neoplastic diseases, side effects of medication, malabsorption, and/or enteropathy. Interventions such as acupuncture and moxibustion show promise in managing gastrointestinal symptoms. The aim of this pilot study was to evaluate their usefulness in improving diarrhoea in persons with HIV/AIDS, and to evaluate the feasibility and sample size of a future prospective randomized controlled clinical trial.


15 HIV positive men with chronic diarrhoea were treated with six sessions of acupuncture/moxibustion over a 3-week period. Participants kept a stool frequency/consistency diary.


Both stool frequency and consistency improved over the study period by significant amounts.


Acupuncture and moxibustion are promising treatments for the management of HIV-related chronic diarrhoea. The results of the study also established the feasibility of a larger prospective randomized controlled trial.


Anastasi JK, McMahon DJ. Testing strategies to reduce diarrhea in persons with HIV using traditional Chinese medicine: acupuncture and moxibustion. The Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care 14 (3): 28-40, May-Jun 2003.

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