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Infectious Diseases

Writer: Chenglian Su
AIDS Trial Treatment Group, China Academy of TCM

30 cases of AIDS were treated on a trial by TCM in African include 20 in-patients and 10 out-patients. They all have been diagnosed as AIDS through clinical examinations in a National Hospital of the country. The primary criteria were: significant weight loss of at least over 10%, asthenia, chronic Diarrhea for more than one month, and intermittent or continuous fever for at least one month, general idiopathic skin pruritus, cough and pneumonia, general lymphadenopathy, signs of the nervous system and meningitis unresponsive to routine treatment. Individuals with general Kaposi’s sarcoma or cryptococcal meningitis were clinically diagnosed as having AIDS, and those having positive HIV in ELISA (enzyme linked immunosorbent assay) examination and satisfying the diagnostic criteria for AIDS were considered suitable candidates for the trial.

Based on differentiation, the cases in this series were classified into four types:

1. Lung and stomach yin deficiency type (11 cases)

This type is often seen in patients suffering mainly from the respiratory system symptoms or in patients at early or middle stage. It is characterized by fever, tussiculation, or phlegm mixed with blood, shortness of breath, pain and tight sensation in chest, general lassitude, weight loss, dry mouth and throat, night sweating, thready and rapid pulse; red or pink tongue with thin and yellow, or yellow and greasy coating.  The prescription selected is modified Shen Ling Bai Zhu San and Bai He Gujin Tang or modified Fu Zheng He Ji.

2. Spleen and stomach qi deficiency type (7 cases)
This type is quite common in patients suffering mainly from the digestive system symptoms. It is marked by fever, weight loss, general lassitude, anorexia, nausea, vomiting, dysphagia, abdominalgia, frequent diarrhea, or abdominal distension, borborygmus, and pain in mouth membrane and tongue with leukoplakia or white lumps. The pulse is thready and soft, the tongue is pale, coating is yellow and greasy or white and greasy. The prescription selected is modified
Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang, Xiao Chai Hu Tang and Wen Dan Tang; also such prepared medicines as Xiang Sha Liu Jun Zi Wan and Ren Shen Gui Pi Wan.

3. Spleen and kidney deficiency type (10 cases)

This type is frequently seen in patients at the advanced stage. It is usually manifested by fever or continuous low fever, extreme weight loss, lassitude, palpitation, shortness of breath, dizziness, soreness and pain in loin and knees, anorexia, nausea or frequent hiccup, acute diarrhea or night diarrhea, abdominalgia, cold limbs, night sweating, xerostomia, dry mouth and lusterlessness or shedding of hair, pale nails or thrush, deep thready and weak pulse, or thready and rapid pulse, red tongue with no coating, or pale tongue with thin and white coating, or covered by white lump patch. The prescriptions selected are Si Jun Zi Tang, Si Shen Wan and Fu Zheng He Ji.

4. Mental confusion due to accumulation of Excessive Heat and phlegm (2 cases)

This type often occurs in patients at the advanced stage whose nervous system is affected by AIDS viruses. Its symptoms include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, unconsciousness, or coma with delirium, convulsion with stiff neck, tetany or epilepsy, dementia, peripheral nerve injury, pain in limbs, and difficulty in walking; thready and rapid, or slippery and rapid pulse; yellow greasy, or white and greasy tongue coating. The prescription selected is modified An Gong Niu Huang Wan and Gou Teng Yin.

Result and discussion:

1. In AIDS treatment, the focus should be put on the early or middle stage patients, or those who have only mild symptoms or blood picture changes, or those who have AIDS-related syndrome (ARS).

2. Diarrhea, cough, thrush and fever are the symptoms which are most difficult to deal with.

3. Pulmonary tuberculosis, malaria, thrush and anemia are the common complications of the disease.

4. Most of patients have cutaneous papules or vesicular erythra, itching, or large areas of black-brown lichenoid erythra, all of them are partly relieved after treatment but easy to recur.

5. Conditions of the pulse and the tongue undergo changes in most patients.

6. Abscess and ulcer are quite common in patients with poor resistance.

7. Infection is one of the common complications of the disease.

8. Often confronted discrimination from the society and the surrounding people, their mood are on low side, have a feeling of loneliness and a severe sensation of being lost.

Key Words: AIDS, herbal treatment

Writer: Chenglian Su
AIDS Trial Treatment Group, China Academy of TCM


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