London, Nov 16 (UNI) Senior doctors have launched an attack against the promotion of homeopathy in the treatment of serious diseases like AIDS.
Michael Baum, emeritus professor of surgery at University College London and a long-standing critic of alternative medicine, said ''The application of homeopathy in the context of AIDS demonstrates how a therapy that is apparently safe, because it has no biochemical effect, can do damage.
''People say homeopathy cannot do any harm but when it is being promoted for HIV then there is a serious problem,'' the Independent quoted him as saying.
Expressing similar concerns, David Colquhoun, professor of pharmacology at the institute, cited an incident last year when it was revealed that homeopathy clinics were prepared to provide homeopathic pills to travellers to prevent malaria, typhoid, dengue and yellow fever.
''Making false claims about treating colds is one thing but it is quite another to make false claims about malaria,'' he said.
The attack comes in the wake of the Society of Homeopaths, Europe's largest organisation representing lay homeopaths, organising a symposium on HIV here on December 1-- World AIDS Day.
A spokeswoman for the organisation said,''We are by no means talking of a cure for AIDS or advocating that people stop taking their conventional medical treatment. This is a fairly new area for homoeopathy. We treat individuals, not named diseases and it is how individuals experience their symptoms that determines how we treat the totality of their symptoms.'' UNI