By Martin Bloem, Chief of Nutrition and HIV Policy, U.N. World Food Programme
“We believe that after six months, our patients will have become strong so they can go back and do their usual work,” said Esther Oduli, a social worker in Western Kenya whose organization, the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH), works closely with the U.N. World Food Programme (WFP).
Together, AMPATH and 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. On Monday, July 23rd, Harvard Medical School, Partners In Health and WFP will hold an open satellite session on ‘Showing the Impact of Food Assistance and Nutrition Support in HIV Care.’ Please feel free to join the discussion, 7:00am to 8:30am in Mini Room 5.
- H.E. Agnes Binagwaho | Minister of Health, Rwanda
- James M. Sherry | Director, USAID TRAction and Professor of Global Health and International Affairs, George Washington University
- Christine Wanke | Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Tufts University School of Medicine; Director, Division of Nutrition and Infection
- Louise Ivers | Senior Health and Policy Advisor, Partners in Health
- Sebastian Stricker | Project Manager Nutrition and HIV, World Food Programme
Moderated by Martin Bloem, Chief of Nutrition and HIV Policy, World Food Programme.
Breakfast will be provided. RSVP to secure your seat at: http://hiv2012.eventbrite.com. Please send any inquires to Ashley Ahlholm at firstname.lastname@example.org.