Meditation slows AIDS progression

REUTERS 21 July 2009, 12:00am IST

A team at the University of California Los Angeles tested a mindfulness meditation program with 67 HIV-positive adults from the Los Angeles area, 48 of whom did some or all of the meditation. Most were likely to have highly stressful lives.  The more often the volunteers meditated, the higher their CD4 T-cell counts - a standard measure of how well the immune system is fighting the AIDS virus. The CD4 counts were measured before and after the two-month programme.

"This study provides the first indication that mindfulness meditation stress-management training can have a direct impact on slowing HIV disease progression," said David Creswell, who led the study.  Creswell said.   "The mindfulness program is a group-based and low-cost treatment, and if this initial finding is replicated in larger samples, it’s possible that such training can be used as a powerful complementary treatment for HIV disease, alongside medications."

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