Prevalence and Characteristics of CAM Use among People Living with HIV and AIDS in Lebanon: Implications for Patient Care
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This study aimed to assess the prevalence and determinants of Complementary and AlternativeMedicine (CAM) use among People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) in Lebanon and to identify related issues that may affect patient care. A cross-sectional survey design was used to interview 116 PLWHA in Beirut.The questionnaire addressed sociodemographic and disease characteristics as well as CAM use.The main outcome of the study was CAM use since diagnosis. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses. Overall, 46.6% of participants reported using one or more CAM therapies, with herbs and herbal products being the most commonly used (63%). A higher education level was associated with a 3-fold increase in the odds of CAM use. Among users, 20% used CAM as alternative to conventional treatment, 48% were not aware of CAM-drug interactions, 89% relied on nonhealth care sources for their choice of CAM, and 44% did not disclose CAM use to their physician. CAM use is prevalent among Lebanese PLWHA. Findings of this study highlighted the need to educate health care practitioners to have an open communication and a patient-centered approach discussing CAM use during routine care and to enhance awareness of PLWHA on safe use of CAM.