The Mae On Project: Using acupuncture for symptom relief and improved quality of life for people living with HIV and AIDS in rural Thailand

Laura Louie, Nopporn Pathanapornpandh, Unchalee Pultajuk, Robert Kaplan, Ian Hodgson, Lawrence Maund, Heather Greenlee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Acupuncture in combination with antiretroviral therapies is a potentially useful treatment for HIV-related symptom relief in resource-poor settings. Traditional Chinese medicine has a long history of being used to enhance immune function. In the setting of HIV, Chinese traditional medicine allows for symptom treatment without adding extra medications to a complex drug regime. This paper provides details of a project at Mae On Hospital in rural northern Thailand where allopathic/conventional treatments are used in tandem with acupuncture. A preliminary evaluation of the project suggests that an integrated approach to symptom relief is viewed positively by respondents receiving acupuncture, though further studies are required to confirm the association between acupuncture and symptom relief. The project also demonstrates the feasibility of developing a cost-effective acupuncture programme using local healthcare staff.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-41
Number of pages5
JournalAcupuncture in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine
  • Clinical Neurology

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