There is no scientific evidence specific to South African conditions backing the use of nutrition as the primary treatment for HIV/Aids and Tuberculosis (TB), according to research released by the Academy of Sciences of South Africa (ASSAf) on Wednesday.
Studies need to be local
Scientific evidence specific to South African conditions was urgently needed. There was a shortage of nutritionists in the country, as well as no specific chair dedicated to this particular field of study, panellists said.
Guidelines good on paper
Nutrition expert Hester Vorster said the Department of Health's
guidelines on nutrition were "excellent on paper" and had been used by the World Health Organization, but were poorly implemented because they did not have enough resources.
Vitamins can help
But multivitamins, excluding Vitamin A, could improve their outcome. However, for children, Vitamin A and zinc lowered the rate of diarrhoea and respiratory infections.
ARV rollout lagging
New HIV guidelines for adults
For more information on care and support of tuberculosis visit South African National TB Association (SANTA) or phone them on 011 454 0260.