cure in Zambia?
A Zambia-based Chinese doctor, who claims to have a cure for AIDS,
is making a fortune here as ailing Zambians flock to his little hospital
to seek the remedy.
Cure for HIV/AIDS. Tian
Immunity Booster, the latest and retroviral drug," reads a
banner on the entrance of
the hospital, situated in the
upmarket suburb of Kabulonga in the capital, Lusaka.
People infected with
HIV have been flocking to this hospital to seek treatment from doctor
Shengxun Tian, a Chinese medicine man who specialises in herbs and who
claims to have cured the deadly virus.
"On a daily basis,
I receive an average of 15 patients who come for AIDS
treatment," said Tian, who is popularly known as Professor in
He claims to have
discovered an AIDS cure named "Tian Immunity Booster," which is
an extraction of plant and animal substances.
"Seven years ago
when I discovered this drug, it was purely for improving the immune system
of patients. But after further research and development, the drug has
proved to be the only effective treatment to HIV," Tian said.
consultation room, sick Zambians queue to seek the treatment of Tian, who
is always immaculately dressed in carefully matched neckties and a snow
"I charge 200 US
dollars per month and the course usually takes about six months, said Tian,
though acknowledging that most of his poor patients fail to pay for the
One in every five
Zambian is believed to be HIV positive in this impoverished southern
African country, where the majority of people live on less than a dollar
Tian Hospital was
established in 1990 when the Chinese doctor first came to Zambia to
practice conventional medicine. He later opted to concentrate on herbs.
Inside his consultation
room, Tian has piles of files of clients who have sought his treatment -
some died, while others are still taking his medicine, which he packages
in tablet or capsules form.
He says some of those
files carry the names of prominent Zambians who are among the top clients
of Tian Hospital.
But Tian's claim of
having an AIDS cure has caused an uproar among the Zambian medical
community, some of whom are calling for the closure of his hospital.
whom Tian claim to have cured were not taking his medicine only. Most of
them also take the international tested anti-retroviral drugs," said
doctor Francis Kasolo, head of the
"Ten people were
selected from Tian's patients, but before the study was finished, all of
them disappeared," Kasolo said, who is also in charge of HIV testing
laboratory in Zambia.
But Tian produces a lot
of documents showing that most of
his patients under his treatment had their HIV viral loads reduced
to very low levels within the first weeks of taking his drugs.
"For us, we shall
not recognise all that, until we are allowed to conduct an independent controlled
double-blind study on the patients," Kasolo said.
Zambian doctor who called for the immediate closure of the Tian hospital
said some prominent politicians who are clients of the Chinese
hospital were to blame for the
fortune Tian is making
in the country.
have been receiving instructions from top government officials telling us
to recognise the Tiara
drugs," said a
senior doctor, who asked not to
seem to confuse a lot of Zambians over the Tian controversy is that
despite him administering herbal medicine, the medical council of Zambia -
a professional body that grants practising licences - does recognise him.
was the first mistake which was made. Now he can claim to be a genuine
doctor because he has a practising licence like everyone else,"
local media have run reports on people who claim to have been cured by the
Tian drugs, though there is no independent medical confirmation so far.