The escalating number of HIV/AIDS cases in sub-Saharan African countries has dramatically raised high demand for medical care in health facilities throughout this resource-poor region. Treatment of HIV/AIDS is limited due to unavailability and high costs of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) together with limited infrastructure for monitoring of HIV/AIDS patients. Phytomedicines have shown great promise in the treatment of infectious diseases including AIDS-related opportunistic infections
. Records indicate that the majority of traditional healers in Eastern, Southern and Western Africa use Combretaceae species for treatment of conditions like abdominal disorders, backache, bilharzia, cancer, coughs, colds, conjunctivitis, diarrhea, dysentery, dysmenorrhoea, fever, gastric ulcers, general weakness, venereal diseases, headaches, heart diseases, hypertension, jaundice, leprosy, nosebleeds, oedema, pneumonia, skin diseases, sore throats, dental caries, diabetes, enteralgia, eye diseases, general fatigue, hiccups, loss of appetite, malaria, menorrhagia, tuberculosis, tumours, HIV/AIDS infections, wasting and yellow fever
[2–5]. Plants of the Combretum and Terminalia genera constitute majority of the Combretaceae family that are widely represented in Tanzania. At least 55 and 17 species of Combretum and Terminalia, respectively, are reported to be growing in Tanzania ranging from climbers, shrubs and big trees
. Most of these species are also found in other parts of tropical and warm temperate regions of the world
[5, 6]. Combretum adenogonium Steud. Ex A. Rich (Combretaceae) (syn:Combretum fragrans F. Hoffm or Combretum ghasalense Engl. & Diels) is a shrub or a small tree which grows up to 10-12 m high. It is common in deciduous woodland (Miombo) and wooded grassland associated with seasonally waterlogged clay soils and is sometimes also found on shallow, stony soils
. In various parts of Africa, the plant is used for treatment of leprosy, cough and syphilis, snakebite, aphrodisiac, diarrhea, new and chronic wounds, malaria and even septic wounds and fungal infection of the scalp
[7, 8]. Root, leaf and stem bark extracts of this plant have been investigated and established as having antifungal
[11, 12] and antiproliferative
 properties. Stem bark of C. adenogonium have shown to exhibit significant Clostridium chauvoei neuraminidase enzyme inhibitory activity
. Previous phytochemical analyses have shown that, extracts of stem barks, root and leaves of C. adenogonium contain flavonoids, tannins and few saponins
[10, 14]. Furthermore, chemical analyses have shown that two phytosterols (β-sitosterol and stigmasterol) were isolated from the stem bark of C. adenogonium.
The current study investigated antibacterial, anti HIV-1 protease and cytotoxic activities of extracts of C. adenogonium as part of our continued efforts to explore biological activities of plants of the Combretaceae for possible development of phytodrug to be used in managing HIV and AIDS-related opportunistic infections.