Use of complementary and alternative medicine in HIV-infected subjects

Vittorio Agnoletto, Francesca Chiaffarino, Paola Nasta, Roberto Rossi, Fabio Parazzini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To compare the characteristics of HIV-infected subjects who had ever used with those who had never used Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Design: The European Level Epidemiology of Complementary Therapies in HIV project (ELECTHIV 2), a case-control study, was conducted in seven European countries. All HIV-infected subjects who consecutively attended the offices of the collaborating organizations were eligible for this study. Information was obtained from self-administered, anonymous questionnaires. Setting: A total of 1066 subjects entered the study: 632 were CAM users and 434 had never used CAM. Results: CAM use was more common among females than males (odds ratio (OR) 1.6; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-2.2) and in more educated subjects. CAM use was less common among subjects taking highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) (OR 0.5; 95% CI 0.3-0.8), but was more common in outpatients who reported HAART-related side effects (specifically neuropathy). Conclusion: This study indicates that CAM use in HIV-infected subjects is related to female gender, higher levels of education and longer duration of HIV infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-199
Number of pages7
JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2006


  • Case-control study
  • Complementary therapy use
  • Epidemiology
  • HIV
  • HIV infected subject

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Medicine(all)
  • Nursing(all)


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