Food Shortages Endanger HIV/AIDS Patients

Rising food prices around the world have particularly dire consequences for people living with HIV/AIDS.  This Kaiser Network article discusses this problem in Ethiopia.  Besides weakening a body’s defences against HIV/AIDS, inadequate nutrition can make effective drug treatment difficult or impossible, as the article describes.

According to health officials, poor nutrition weakens the body’s defenses against the virus, hastens the development of AIDS and makes it difficult to take antiretrovirals. The treatment also can increase appetite, and it is possible to reduce some side effects and to promote drug adherence if antiretrovirals are taken with food.

Beyond their immediate application in the context of the current food crisis, these facts demonstrate how strongly HIV/AIDS is connected to other development issues.  Hunger, and the poverty that often lies behind it, are issues AIDS advocates need to address.

For a different perspective on this issue, see this opinion piece from Mmegi, a national newspaper in Botswana.  The author discusses the importance of good nutrition for children living with HIV/AIDS.


~ by h.e.g. on June 26, 2008.

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