AIDS / HIV

Get Email Updates

AIDS / HIV Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.

ASK

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Multivitamins: Latest Weapon in Fighting the Progression of HIV?

By Stacy Lloyd HERWriter
are multivitamins a weapon against the progression of HIV? Elenaphotos21/PhotoSpin

Can multivitamins help people with the AIDS virus? New research out of Africa suggests that may be true.

This research proposes that basic multivitamin and selenium supplements might greatly lower the risk that untreated people with the AIDS virus will get sicker over a two-year period.

It’s worth noting, wrote AIDS.org, that the impact of the study in the United States will be limited because many Americans diagnosed with HIV immediately begin treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART). Patients in the African study hadn't yet begun taking ART.

Still, "it is incredibly useful to find new strategies to delay the progression of HIV disease," Dr. Jared Baeten, associate professor of global health at the University of Washington told HealthDay News.

"Not every HIV-infected person is immediately willing, or able, to initiate antiretroviral therapy. Inexpensive, proven treatments ahead of starting antiretroviral therapy can fill an important role."

For the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers divided patients into several groups. Some took a placebo, others took a multivitamin including B, C and E vitamins.

Another group took the multivitamin along with supplements of the mineral selenium, and still others took only selenium. Selenium is a mineral found in soil. It naturally appears in water and some foods.

The study was conducted in 878 HIV-infected patients at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone, Botswana, between December 2004 and July 2009, wrote Journal of the American Medical Association.

The only treatment with a noticeable effect was the multivitamin/selenium combination. Those who took the combination were about half as likely to show signs over two years that their infection had progressed toward AIDS as those who took the placebo.

Of the 217 who took the placebo, 32 suffered progression of the disease, compared to 17 of the 220 who took the multivitamin/selenium combination.

Next up, the researchers want to see if the supplements help patients already taking antiretroviral therapy.

However previous research may suggest some challenges.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

Improved

1547 Health

Changed

572 Lives

Saved

427 Lives
0 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

The CDC says around 56,000 Americans have HIV. Does this affect you in your personal life? :
View Results