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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 5013132, 11 pages
Research Article

Prevalence and Characteristics of CAM Use among People Living with HIV and AIDS in Lebanon: Implications for Patient Care

1Department of Nutrition and Food Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, American University of Beirut, Riad El-Solh, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon
2Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Building 14, Dubai Healthcare City, P.O. Box 505055, Dubai, UAE
3Department of Health Management and Policy, Faculty of Health Sciences, American University of Beirut, Riad El-Solh, Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon

Received 2 August 2016; Accepted 7 November 2016

Academic Editor: Oliver Micke

Copyright © 2016 Joana Abou-Rizk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aimed to assess the prevalence and determinants of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) use among People Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) in Lebanon and to identify related issues that may affect patient care. A cross-sectional survey design was used to interview 116 PLWHA in Beirut. The questionnaire addressed sociodemographic and disease characteristics as well as CAM use. The main outcome of the study was CAM use since diagnosis. Data analysis included descriptive statistics and logistic regression analyses. Overall, 46.6% of participants reported using one or more CAM therapies, with herbs and herbal products being the most commonly used (63%). A higher education level was associated with a 3-fold increase in the odds of CAM use. Among users, 20% used CAM as alternative to conventional treatment, 48% were not aware of CAM-drug interactions, 89% relied on nonhealth care sources for their choice of CAM, and 44% did not disclose CAM use to their physician. CAM use is prevalent among Lebanese PLWHA. Findings of this study highlighted the need to educate health care practitioners to have an open communication and a patient-centered approach discussing CAM use during routine care and to enhance awareness of PLWHA on safe use of CAM.