TRADITIONAL MEDICINE AND HIV/AIDS MANAGEMENT IN TIV LAND 1986-2011.
Traditional medicine in Tiv land refers to the use of nature’s medicinal resources to meet health needs. It also includes the involvement of supernatural forces, since they are viewed as vectors of diseases. The potency of drugs also depends on the supernatural beings. The Tiv word for medicine is ‘icigh’ which means the power put by God into herbs and other substances which those that possess the knowledge can utilize for healing purposes. The status of HIV positive persons in Tiv land continually propels them to seek assistance from naturalist healers. Several indigenous or alternative medicine practitioners in Tiv land claim to have cure for HIV/AIDS.There are three categories of these traditional healers: those who use medicinal substances; those who work with intangible forces and rites; and those who combine these two methods. The first group perhaps has a basis for their claim. This is because a number of medicinal herbs are successfully applied in the treatment of malarial and some psychiatric disorders in Tiv land by this group. The second group relies only on dreams and consultations for diagnosis and cure. The paper’s position is that no case of cure for HIV/AIDS has been objectively documented by this group of Tiv alternative medicine practitioners. However, it is worth noting that some of the herbal medicines used in Tiv settings improves general health conditions of HIV/AIDS patients especially opportunistic infections, but they are not in any way curative of HIV/AIDS.
(c) 2013 Ibadan Cultural Studies Group, University of Ibadan