Objective: This study was aimed to evaluate the immuno-modulator role of homeopathic remedies in Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection.
Methodology: A randomised double blind clinical trial was conducted to compare the effect of homeopathic remedies with placebo, on CD4+ve T-lymphocytes in HIV infected individuals, conforming to Centres for Disease Control (CDC) stage II & III. 100 HIV+ve individuals between 18-50 y (71% males) were included in the study. 50 cases conformed to CDC stage II--Asymptomatic HIV infection, and 50 cases to CDC stage III--Persistent Generalised Lymphadenopathy (PGL). Cases were stratified according to their clinical status and CD4+ve lymphocyte counts. The randomisation charts were prepared much before the start of the trial by randomly assigning placebo and verum codes to registration numbers from 1 to 50. A single individualised homeopathic remedy was prescribed in each case and was followed up at intervals of 15 d to one month. A six months study was performed for each registered case. Assessment of progress was made by evaluation of CD+ve lymphocyte counts, which was the prospectively-defined main outcome measure of the study; the results were compared with the base line immune status.
Results: In PGL, a statistically significant difference was observed in CD+ve T-lymphocyte counts between pre and post trial levels in verum group (P < 0.01). In the placebo group a similar comparison yielded non-significant results. (P = 0.91). Analysis of change in the pre and post trial counts of CD4+ve cells between groups was also statistically significant (P = 0.04). In asymptomatic HIV infection, differences in absolute CD4+ve lymphocyte counts between pre and post trial levels were not significant. Analysis of changes in pre and post trial CD4 levels of placebo and verum groups for combined strata of asymptomatic and PGL groups was also not significant.
Conclusion: The study suggests a possible role of homeopathic treatment in HIV infection in symptomatic phase, as evidenced by a statistically significant elevation of base line immune status in persistent generalised lymphadenopathy.