The WHO has restated there is no ‘cure for HIV’ and re-emphasized that the condition can only be managed by infected people if they continue to use anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy in a statement it released.
The Health agency has been moved to restate this fact after a local preacher in Zimbabwe claimed to have received a divine revelation of an herbal cure.
Dr. Alex Gasaira, WHO’s representative in the country, explicitly stated that ‘there is no cure for HIV infection.’
Media reports say the cleric notified his congregation during its Sunday service in the capital, Harare about the ‘cure’ for HIV and AIDS.
He also reportedly claimed that a healing plant had been revealed to him by God, sparking a media outcry.
The Harare Herald, Zimbabwe’s largest newspaper, has been quick to comment on these claims, calling them scientifically baseless. It also stated the Government was actively discouraging the purchase of unapproved medicines.
According to UNAIDS statistics, Zimbabwe recorded some 30,000 AIDS-related deaths in 2016, with well over one million people living with HIV in the same year.
‘Those desperate for a cure should not abandon their ARV therapy,’ the WHO official advised.
He explained that researchers working in the field had been advised to subject their treatments to the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health for proper clinical trials and procedures.
While the Zimbabwe Ministry of Health continues to research for a possible definitive solution to dealing with the HIV menace, it stands behind the current arrangements available for managing the problem.
‘Until a cure is verified, effective ARV drugs can control HIV infections and help prevent transmission, so that people with HIV, and those at substantial risk, can enjoy health, long and productive lives,’ Gasasira added.
As of the end of 2017, 87 percent of Zimbabweans living with HIV were aware of their status, and 74 percent of them were receiving treatment, UNAIDS report stated.
UNAIDS says it is supporting Zimbabwe in its fight to stamp out HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 2030, starting with informing citizens of their status and working to suppress infection through treatment.