HIV infection and poor nutritional status often exist in tandem. The infection increases the body’s energy requirements and diminishes the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Also, clients with opportunistic infections or adverse drug side effects may have poor appetite or difficulty with eating. The nutritional status for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) or tuberculosis (TB) has significant impact on clinical outcomes, disease progression and antiretroviral therapy or TB treatment success.
Currently, 33% of Ugandan children less than five years of age are stunted, 16% are underweight, and 4% are wasted. Malnutrition among adults is also high, with 12% of women being underweight. Other forms of malnutrition do exist and with HIV infection they become aggravated.
USAID/SUSTAIN supports facilities to integrate nutrition assessment, counseling and support (NACS) in routine service delivery for HIV care and at all entry points using the seven-step approach developed by the USAID-funded NuLife—Food and Nutrition Interventions for Uganda project.
In accordance with the Ugandan Ministry of Health (MOH) National Guidelines for Infant and Young Child Feeding and Nutrition, USAID/SUSTAIN also supports healthcare workers at HIV entry points (e.g. antenatal care and young child clinics, maternity wards and post-natal care units) and HIV chronic care/antiretroviral therapy clinics to promote optimal and safe feeding practices for infants and children. Good infant and young child feeding and nutrition (IYCFN) practices are essential in prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV and ensuring healthy outcomes for HIV-exposed infants.
Partnerships for Nutrition
The USAID/SUSTAIN project is partnering with Production for Improved Nutrition (PIN) project to supply ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to support care for HIV-infected clients who are severely malnourished.
Learn more in our Nutrition technical brief!