Effects of Naturopathy and Yoga Intervention on CD4 Count of the Individuals Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy-Report from a Human Immunodeficiency Virus Sanatorium, Pune

By Joseph, Babu; Nair, Pradeep et al. | International Journal of Yoga, July-December 2015 | Go to article overview

Effects of Naturopathy and Yoga Intervention on CD4 Count of the Individuals Receiving Antiretroviral Therapy-Report from a Human Immunodeficiency Virus Sanatorium, Pune


Joseph, Babu, Nair, Pradeep, Nanda, Awantika, International Journal of Yoga


Byline: Babu. Joseph, Pradeep. Nair, Awantika. Nanda

Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is one of the most debilitating conditions which have affected nearly 32 million people across the globe. Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard care given to the HIV positive individuals. But the patient adherence to ART is found to be very less as per previous studies. Complementary and alternative medicine is becoming a pillar in the rehabilitative efforts for many living with HIV/AIDS. Aim: To evaluate the effect of naturopathy and yoga intervention on CD4 counts of HIV patients. Methods: Ninety-six patients prediagnosed as HIV positive were enrolled after obtaining written consent and treated with naturopathy and yoga interventions like hydrotherapy, diet therapy, mud therapy, counseling, etc., for various durations at National Institute of Naturopathy Sanatorium. They were grouped into four groups (G1: 1-7 days, G2: 8-15 days, G3: 16-30 days, G4: >30 days) based on duration of stay. CD4 count of each individual was recorded pre- and post-stay. Results: All analyses were conducted using R package version 3.01. Dependent sample t-tests were conducted to examine the significance at 95% confidence interval. Of the 96 patients, male patients constitute 55.2% and female patients 44.8% with mean age 34.74 received 1-180 days (mean 28.75, standard deviation: 14.16) treatment. Significant increase in the CD4 count was observed in two out of the four groups (G2: P = 0.052, and G4: P = 0.00038, respectively). Conclusion: An increasing trend in the CD4 count was observed that was proportional to the length of the stay of participants at the HIV sanatorium. This indicates the possibility of lifestyle changes can bring positive outcomes in people living with HIV/AIDS when used as an adjuvant with ART care. The lack of control group is a major limitation of this study. No attempt was made to study the subjective changes in the quality of life, viral load, etc., However, larger controlled studies are warranted for conclusive results.

INTRODUCTION

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a hazardous entity to human beings where 34.3 million people in the world are suffering from HIV as per epidemiological reports. [sup][1] In India, there are 2.5 million people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA). [sup][2] Antiretroviral therapy (ART) is the standard treatment given to the PLWHA based on their stage of infection expressed in terms of CD4 Count. [sup][2],[3] But the adherence to ART and the life expectancy or improvement in quality of life in PLWHA is affected due to the negative lifestyle such as improper diet, addictions, sedentary lifestyle as well as behavioral attitudes like anxiety, phobia etc., The life expectancy can be improved by altering the lifestyle and behavioral changes in the PLWHA. [sup][1]

Complementary and alternative medicine has a role to play in the rehabilitative efforts for many living with HIV/AIDS. [sup][4] Naturopathy can be defined as a drugless, noninvasive, rational and evidence-based system of medicine imparting treatments with natural elements based on the theories of vitality, toxemia and the self-healing capacity of the body, as well as the principles of healthy living. [sup][5] HIV sanatorium, a residential facility in Pune, (providing free integrative healthcare, accommodation, diet, and vocational training) for HIV-positive individuals [sup][6] provides specialized asymptomatic clinical care which includes naturopathy and yoga interventions along with counseling and education on HIV transmission and risk-reduction behaviors. It also provides routine clinical monitoring and assessment, nutritional assessment and counseling, promotion of good personal and household hygiene. Earlier study from this sanatorium indicates that the recommending naturopathic treatment modalities and yoga practices along with lifestyle changes and counseling may have a positive impact on the health outcomes of HIV-positive individuals. …

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