South Africa has the largest disparity of wealth on the planet. The populations that FNP serves are the most marginalized communities in Southern Africa. The majority of our patients are battling for basic needs such as Food, Housing, Health Service, and Employment. The Public Health System in South Africa is extremely overtaxed, and unable to provide a high quality of care to all in need.
Currently there are minimal national or non-governmental organizations offering free complementary health services to low income HIV infected populations in South Africa.
The HIV epidemic in South Africa is in dire proportions. As of 2008, over 5.3 million people are HIV positive. Within the public health system 350,000 people are being treated with anti retroviral medications, while over 520,000 are still requiring them. Whether treating patients with or without ARV medications, Acupuncture and Chinese herbs have been used in clinics in the USA to enable and strengthen the immune system, combat symptoms and opportunistic infections, reduce stress, ease the medications’ side effects and improve overall balance and wellbeing.
According to Carl Dahlgren (L.Ac) “Acupuncture can treat many of the symptoms associated with HIV: difficulty sleeping, low energy, peripheral neuropathy, nausea, anxiety, depression, muscle tension, urinary difficulties, diarrhea, constipation, poor digestion, acid stomach, headaches, bloating, skin conditions, liver toxicity, poor breathing, excess mucous, fevers and chills, “floaters,” and many others.[i]” It has also been effective in preventing and treating post herpetic neuralgia associated with herpes zoster (shingles)