Together, AMPATH and the United Nations Word Food Programme (WFP) provide people living with HIV with the care, treatment and support they need. When people come to AMPATH for HIV treatment, they also receive food and nutrition support from WFP for themselves and their families if they are malnourished or food insecure. This support helps patients recover their health, incentivizes people to come for and adhere to their treatment and promotes long-term treatment success.
People on HIV treatment experience increased nutritional needs and may feel greater side effects if they don’t have enough to eat’and if they are already malnourished when they begin treatment, they may risk higher rates of mortality. Moreover, poor households affected by HIV often face increased health care costs and fewer sources of income, as well as limited health care availability.
Evidence and experience suggest that hunger and poverty are major barriers to treatment access and adherence; and as Esther’s work shows, providing food and nutrition support can help overcome these barriers.
Fortunately, an increasing number of organizations have begun integrating food and nutrition into the response to HIV.