Ten weeks of practising yoga helped patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) to gain immunity, noted a recent observation by the Mumbai district AIDS Control Society (MDACS). Officials said they have now approached the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) to conduct a study on the medical aspects of the outcome.
Officials added that about 30 patients suffering from AIDS, caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), registered for antiretroviral therapy (ART) and were a part of the yoga schedule that was started in the Wadala campus of the MDACS headquarters from the month of August. “An organisation, Ambika Yog Kutir, promoting yoga, had approached MDACS, asking if they can teach yoga to the patients. Looking at reported positive physical and mental results, we asked our patients if they would like to participate,” said Padmaja Keskar, executive health officer of BMC.
Officials confirmed that 28 out of 30 patients attended the two-hour yoga session every Saturday for 10 weeks. However, they were surprised to see the CD4, white blood cells that play an important role in the immune system, count of those who underwent pre-scheduled yearly tests to check immunity in October.
“Six of the patients reported an increase of 100-150 points in their CD4 count in their quarterly follow up to check their immunity. Based on the preliminary results, we now wish to study if a prolonged yoga schedule helps reduce the stress levels and helps the patients physically,” said Dr Srikala Acharya, head of MDACS.