People living with HIV and Aids in Malawi are being warned against taking herbal concoctions deemed to cure the pandemic.

The Pharmacy, medicines and poisons Board (PMPB) says antiretroviral medications are the only approved drugs for use in prolonging lives of HIV infected individuals.

The PMP board said in a published statement that it has noted with concern the continued extensive advertisements about herbal concoctions purported as cure for HIV/AIDS, a development that is said to be luring those on ART treatment to stop their medication for the concoctions.

“Following a number of concerns from the public and continued aggressive advertisements about what is purported as cure for HIV/AIDS, the (PMPB)  has found is appropriate and necessary to inform the public about the approved medicines for HIV/AIDS,” read the statement.

The Medicine authorities have stressed that they have so far not approved any of the acclaimed herbal products, adding they cannot approve of them unless the owners provide all necessary information.
“Most of the preparations so far advertised as cure for HIV/AIDS are herbal concoctions. The PMPB has not approved these preparations for the purported indications.

“In fact, the PMPB cannot approve such products, unless the owner of the product has all the information about the chemical composition and has carried out further scientific studies to demonstrate among other things efficacy and safety of the product through appropriately designed clinical trials,” read the statement.

According to MPBP claims by owners of the preparations and their clients about the efficacy of the concoctions are not proof enough for the it to accept the products.

The authorities have since advised members of the public to go for testing and then source their ARV medications from recognized clinics in both the public and the private sector.

“Under no circumstance should those on ARV treatment stop their medication for these concoctions,” says MPBP.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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