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Antiretroviral treatment for HIV reduces food insecurity, reports AIDS Journal
Date:12/4/2012

Philadelphia, Pa. (December 4, 2012) Can treatment with modern anti-HIV drugs help fight hunger for HIV-infected patients in Africa? Starting antiretroviral therapy for HIV reduces "food insecurity" among patients in Uganda, suggests a study published online by the journal AIDS, official journal of the International AIDS Society. AIDS is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part ofWolters Kluwer Health.

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Treatment including antiretroviral therapy (ART) may lead to a "positive feedback loop" whereby improved functioning and productivity lead to increased ability to workand thus to decreased food insecurity, according to the study by Kartika Palar, PhD and colleagues of University of California Los Angeles and RAND Corporation. The article is available on the AIDS journal homepage and in the November 28 print edition.

Food Insecurity Decreases in Year after Starting ART

The researchers studied 602 patients receiving first-time care for HIV disease at two clinics in Uganda. At one clinic, patients were started on ART, the most effective drug treatment for HIV. Patients at the other clinic were close to becoming eligible but not yet started on ART.

During the first year of treatment, the two groups were compared for changes in their level of food insecurity, defined as "the limited or uncertain availability of adequate food." Based on a simple questionnaire, about half of patients had severe food insecurity at the start of treatment (53 percent in the ART group and 46 percent of those not receiving ART).

In both groups, starting HIV treatment led to improved food security. However, the trend was more pronounced in the group receiving ART. By twelve months, the rate
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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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