This is the first study to report on the effects of honey in asymptomatic HIV positive subjects in ameliorating CD4 count, viral load (VL) and quality of life (QOL). It is a randomized, controlled, open labelled study, comparing the effects of Tualang honey (TH) administration for six months at three different doses: 20 g (THL), 40 g (THI) or 60 g (THH) daily compared with control (no administered treatment, THC). Only asymptomatic HIV positive subjects (n=95) having CD4 count 250-600 cell/ml, not on antiretrovirals were enrolled. Blood, (together with QOL questionnaires administration) were investigated at baseline, three and six months (CD4 cell count) while VL was determined only at baseline and six months. Significant reductions in CD4 counts in THL and THC groups (p= 0.003 for both) were seen with no significant reductions in the CD4 counts in THI and THH groups (p=0.447 and 0.053 respectively). There was improvement in VL in THC and THI (130% and 32% respectively) and reductions in THL and THH (26% and 8% respectively). Within and between group analyses for VL indicated significant differences between THL and THH compared to THC. In addition, significant improvement in QOL of groups which received TH was noted. TH has the potential to improve the QOL (physical and psychological) and CD4 counts. There was a trend of lower VL in asymptomatic HIV subjects following TH administration thus supporting the possible role of TH in boosting the immune system by improving CD4 counts, causing VL reductions in HIV positive subjects.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.