San Francisco, CA – While October 1 marks the start of National AIDS Awareness Month, AIDS and HIV have been well-known conditions since storming onto the public stage in the early 1980s. Though there is still no known cure for AIDS, alternative therapies such as Chinese herbs and acupuncture can offer relief.
The impact of the epidemic hits close to home. According to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, 18,107 San Franciscans have died from AIDS since 1981, and 18,679 are currently living with the disease. While new drug therapies make living longer and healthier more feasible for people diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, debilitating illness still causes a huge struggle for many.
Though there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) Community Clinic has been treating the symptoms of individuals with HIV/AIDS for almost two decades. In early 1990’s, ACTCM was granted Ryan White Funding by the city of San Francisco to treat the HIV/AIDS population with acupuncture and Chinese herbs. In addition to its on-site Community Clinic, ACTCM also provides services to individuals with HIV/AIDS at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic several days per week.
Traditional Chinese Medicine has been used since the early 1980’s to treat HIV/AIDS conditions such as headache, fatigue, aching muscles, sore throat, swollen lymph glands, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting. Acupuncture raises levels of endorphins, anti-bodies, and white blood cell levels, thereby increasing the body’s level of immunity. Chinese herbs with antiviral and immune-enhancing characteristics can improve the quality of life for many patients by reducing the potency of the HIV/AIDS virus, strengthening the immune system, treating opportunistic infections, and reducing the side effects of Western medication. Short-term benefits such as increased energy level, improved sense of well-being, weight gain and decreased stress levels are also experienced by many who use acupuncture and herbal therapy. When compared to current treatments offered by Western medicine, acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are reported to be less costly, less toxic and have fewer negative side effects.
For more information on how Chinese medicine can help improve the quality of life of individuals living with HIV/AIDS, or make an appointment at ACTCM’s Community Clinic.
About American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine
American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM) has provided affordable, quality health care to the public and trained professionals in acupuncture, massage and Chinese medicine since 1980. In addition to its graduate curriculum, ACTCM offers continuing education, public education, community outreach and clinical services in acupuncture and herbal medicine. ACTCM has been the recipient of many awards for its curriculum, faculty and clinic, and has been voted “Best of the Bay” by both the San Francisco Weekly and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. ACTCM is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine and is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.