No association found between traditional healer use and delayed antiretroviral initiation in rural Uganda

Russell H. Horwitz, Alexander C. Tsai, Samuel Maling, Francis Bajunirwe, Jessica E. Haberer, Nneka Emenyonu, Conrad Muzoora, Peter W. Hunt, Jeffrey N. Martin, David R. Bangsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Traditional healer and/or spiritual counselor (TH/SC) use has been associated with delays in HIV testing. We examined HIV-infected individuals in southwestern Uganda to test the hypothesis that TH/SC use was also associated with lower CD4 counts at antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation. Approximately 450 individuals initiating ART through an HIV/AIDS clinic at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) were recruited to participate. Patients were predominantly female, ranged in age from 18 to 75, and had a median CD4 count of 130. TH/SC use was not associated with lower CD4 cell count, but age and quality-of-life physical health summary score were associated with CD4 cell count at initiation while asset index was negatively associated with CD4 count at ART initiation. These findings suggest that TH/SC use does not delay initiation of ART.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-265
Number of pages6
JournalAIDS and Behavior
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

    Fingerprint

Keywords

  • HIV/AIDS
  • Late presentation
  • Spiritual counselor
  • Traditional healer
  • Uganda

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

Cite this

Horwitz, R. H., Tsai, A. C., Maling, S., Bajunirwe, F., Haberer, J. E., Emenyonu, N., Muzoora, C., Hunt, P. W., Martin, J. N., & Bangsberg, D. R. (2013). No association found between traditional healer use and delayed antiretroviral initiation in rural Uganda. AIDS and Behavior, 17(1), 260-265. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10461-011-0132-7