#AskTheHIVDoc: Herbal Treatments? (1:18)

Dr. David talks about the risks of non-approved, alternative treatments in HIV.

#AskTheHIVDoc is a video series from Greater Than AIDS where top HIV doctors give frank, no-nonsense responses to commonly asked questions from gay men about a range of sexual health topics, including personal risk, PrEP and other prevention tools, testing, and treatment. For more information, visit:

These videos are provided for educational purposes and not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your healthcare provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.


Dr. David: I’ve been reading online about new herbal treatments for HIV. What’s the deal?
Dr. Demetre: You have some questions? We know HIV.
Dr. David: I’m a doctor. I’m trained for this.
Dr. Leandro: We’re gonna give you what you need.
Dr. David: We don’t have any herbal treatments that are known to be a cure. And if you were to do a Google search on the internet and look for herbal cures for HIV, you’ll see a lot of people saying a lot of different things. Some of these herbal treatments that you’ll see online or that you’ll hear about in the newspaper actually haven’t been specifically tested and people are running a lot of scams to do a lot of herbal treatments to make money on medications that won’t actually treat as well for HIV as the medications prescribed from your doctor. In addition to that you really have to be careful because some of these herbal medications can cause side effects with the liver and other organs in your body that help get rid of some of the HIV medications. They could interact with the HIV medications and cause more side effects. Don’t go off your HIV meds just to start taking the herbal supplements. Make sure you communicate with your medical provider and make a decision together.