About Bioline  All Journals  Testimonials  Support Bioline  News

Monday, December 16, 2013

Esha Homenauth -- A Student Perspective: Role of Nutrition in Anti-Retroviral Therapy

In Africa, approximately 25 million people are victim to HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2006). In Malawi 46% of young adults between the ages of 15-24 are affected, with 60% of the infections occurring mostly among girls. Gender, demographic and geographical discrepancies in HIV/AIDS prevalence exists within the country, reinforcing the need for government interventions. Through improved education on modes of HIV transmission, risk reduction, blood screening and efficient barrier methods, antibody testing, disclosure and notification of partners, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services, medical treatment and management of infected individuals including the use of anti-retroviral therapy (ART), the risk of transmission of HIV/AIDS will be greatly reduced.

Wasting and weight loss are the main problems among HIV-infected individuals. Adequate nutrition is important for successful ART. Research shows that malnutrition prior to ART is significantly associated with increased mortality (Ni et al, 2006). As such, nutritional intervention plays an integral role in the HIV treatment program, reinforcing the need for an improved diet to enhance ART acceptability, adherence and effectiveness.

A study by Bisika and Mandere published in vol. 20 no 3 of the Malawi Medical Journal focuses on identifying an intervention that would complement the the use of ART in Malawi. Qualitative data was collected through consultative workshops and in-depth interviews with health professionals and representatives from community-based organizations. 85% of the ART beneficiaries reported inability to afford a balanced diet due to illness, while 17% reported missed treatment due to lack of food. Bisika and Madere argue that the institutional capacity to implement nutritional support is limited due to already strained human resources, food storage facilities and size of health facilities. They also highlight the cost associated with nutritional support for ART beneficiaries as well as differential food assistance for individuals at different stages of infection.

Most patients on ART battling HIV indicate the need for nutritional support when ill.Health officials suggested the need for therapeutic and supplementary feeding and food rationing for individuals experiencing weight loss due to malnutrition. Therapeutic and supplementary feeding was provided based on information about adult BMI, pregnant or lactating mothers and children weight for height ratio. Due to unfamiliarity of therapeutic nutrition, the need for nutritional education is imperative. Food rationing was provided to individuals who lacked food security. Researchers suggest that advances in nutrition for HIV infected individuals on ART will require increasing the number of facilities that provide nutritional support as well as addressing limitations such as irregular food supplies and human resources.

In summary, this paper highlights the importance of adequate nutrition for individuals affected with HIV/AIDS. An appropriate diet is important for all individuals utilizing anti-retroviral therapy, not just those affected in developing countries. However, the role of nutrition is fundamental in developing countries due to unpredictable availability and unequal distribution of food supply. Information regarding the measures in place in developing countries like Malawi is important as it highlights the short comings in dealing with the HIV/AID epidemic. In Malawi, as the number of individuals affected by HIV/AIDS increases, the pressure on these already strained resources also increases. Providing open access to this article as well as others in this issue allow relevant information regarding the importance of improved nutrition on the health status of HIV/AIDS-affected individuals. It allows provides a forum for discourse among public health officials in these developing countries to seek out interventions in order to improve the livelihood of these infected individuals.

Bisika, T., & Mandere, G.(2008)Integration of nutrition in the antiretroviral therapy scale up plan for Malawi. Malawi Medical Journal; 20(3):93 - 98

Labels: , ,


Blogger jane said...

A great thanks to DR.INEGBEDION the man that help me when i was very sick, i and my husband where HIV positive and my little daughter had it too, I have try all my possible best to get cured but I couldn’t come up with anything, am from Congo married and Lives in USA I have gone to different hospital but no cure, when i discovered i was losing my mind because of thinking i will die soon, I informed my family back home in my country, they feet bad, but told me about a cure in Africa, they gave me the contact of DR.INEGBEDION, i contacted him and asked him what he can do for me to get cured, he told me what to do, and whats requested for the cure, that I should give my details to him and the man requested for items for the cure i and my husband provided everything to him on the evening of it he called me and told me what to do after two weeks i and my husband went for test and we where tested negative, is close to five months now theres no week i dont go for test just to be sure am okay, but all the results shows am perfectly fine, you can email him now through drinegbedionspellhomes@gmail.com or drinegbedionspellhome@outlook.com or call him on +2347063628174 or add him on his whats-app number at +2349051177568.

2:13 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

Home Faq Resources Mailing List Email Bioline
© Bioline International, 1989 - 2010,
Site created and maintained by the Reference Center on Environmental Information, CRIA, Brazil