Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antiretroviral treatment for HIV reduces food insecurity, study finds

Date:
December 4, 2012
Source:
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Summary:
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 new study.

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 of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Treatment including antiretroviral therapy (ART) may lead to a "positive feedback loop" whereby improved functioning and productivity lead to increased ability to work -- and 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 of severe food insecurity had decreased to 13 percent of the ART group versus 18 percent in the non-ART group.

Examination of other variables gave insight into the "pathway" by which ART may lead to improved food security. Patients starting antiretroviral drugs had greater improvements in work status and in mental health -- particularly decreased scores for depression. Although physical health also improved during treatment -- with or without ART -- this did not seem to contribute to the reduction in food insecurity.

Changing the 'Vicious Cycle' to an 'Upward Spiral'

Researchers are just beginning to explore the socioeconomic and psychological benefits of ART for HIV-infected patients. In developing countries such as Uganda, food insecurity is a common problem with important effects on health. Previous studies have shown that patients with food insecurity are less likely to follow up with recommended treatment for HIV and have poorer treatment outcomes.

The new study provides evidence that starting treatment for HIV -- especially treatment including ART -- leads to improved food security. The reductions in food insecurity were achieved even though neither of the study clinics offered food assistance.

"Our results suggest that greater ability to work and reduced symptoms of depression may be the primary pathways through which ART improves food insecurity," Dr Palar and coauthors write. They suggest a "bidirectional relationship" between ART and food insecurity.

While ART alone can't solve the problem of food insecurity, the researchers believe that policymakers should consider interventions to halt the "vicious cycle" by which HIV leads to worsening social and economic outcomes. Dr Palar and colleagues conclude, "Well-integrated and implemented interventions in the context of comprehensive care have the potential to produce an 'upward spiral' where food security and ART can mutually reinforce each other for the benefit of all those in treatment."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kartika Palar, Glenn Wagner, Bonnie Ghosh-Dastidar, Peter Mugyenyi. Role of antiretroviral therapy in improving food security among patients initiating HIV treatment and care. AIDS, 2012; 26 (18): 2375 DOI: 10.1097/QAD.0b013e328359b809

Cite This Page:

Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Antiretroviral treatment for HIV reduces food insecurity, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204111816.htm>.
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. (2012, December 4). Antiretroviral treatment for HIV reduces food insecurity, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204111816.htm
Wolters Kluwer Health: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. "Antiretroviral treatment for HIV reduces food insecurity, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121204111816.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Nine-Month-Old Baby Can't Open His Mouth

Newsy (Apr. 19, 2014) Nine-month-old Wyatt Scott was born with a rare disorder called congenital trismus, which prevents him from opening his mouth. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

'Holy Grail' Of Weight Loss? New Find Could Be It

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) In a potential breakthrough for future obesity treatments, scientists have used MRI scans to pinpoint brown fat in a living adult for the first time. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Little Progress Made In Fighting Food Poisoning, CDC Says

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) A new report shows rates of two foodborne infections increased in the U.S. in recent years, while salmonella actually dropped 9 percent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Scientists Create Stem Cells From Adult Skin Cells

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The breakthrough could mean a cure for some serious diseases and even the possibility of human cloning, but it's all still a way off. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins