The current ethnobotanical study identified medicinal plant species used to manage HIV/AIDS opportunistic infections by the communities in Rungwe District, Tanzania. Data were collected using questionnaires (n=193), interviews (n=9) and field observations. A total of 31 plant species from 23 families are used in managing HIV/AIDS opportunistic infections. Compositae and Rosaceae were predominantly used in disease management by 15% each. Of the plant parts, leaves were the most used (44%), followed by roots (28%), bark (7%), fruits, seeds and stem (5%) while the least used plant parts were tubers (4%) and the whole (2%). Tuberculosis utilized 60% of the species, Herpes simplex 55%, chronic diarrhea 40%, oral candidiasis 35% and Herpes zoster 30%. Dissotis phaeotricha scored the highest fidelity value (73%), followed by Berberis holstii (60%). The knowledge on medicinal plants among respondents was influenced by; informal education (p<0.01), village location (p<0.01) and ethnic background (p<0.05). The study exposed the presence of reasonable knowledge of traditional medicinal plants among communities in Rungwe District. The results contribute to the conservation of experimental experiential knowledge of medicinal plants used in the management of HIV/AIDS opportunistic infections hence, shouldering world’s efforts geared towards anti-HIV/AIDS innovations.
Key words: Ethnobotany, conservation, medicinal plants, traditional practitioner.
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