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Nutr J. 2012 Jul 23;11:51. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-51.

Food insecurity and associated factors among HIV-infected individuals receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy in Jimma zone Southwest Ethiopia.

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Jimma University, Public Health Faculty, P.O.Box 170998, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.



In resource limited settings, many People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) lack access to sufficient quantities of nutritious foods, which poses additional challenges to the success of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Maintaining adequate food consumption and nutrient intake levels and meeting the special nutritional needs to cope up with the disease and the ART are critical for PLWHA to achieve the full benefit of such a treatment.


To determine the prevalence and correlates of food insecurity among HIV-infected individuals receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings.


A cross sectional study was carried out from January 1, 2009 to March 3, 2009 at ART clinic at Jimma University specialized hospital (JUSH) in Ethiopia. We used multivariable logistic regression model to compare independent risk factors by food insecurity status among 319 adult PLWHA (≥ 18 years) attending ART Clinic.


A total of 319 adult PLWHA participated in the study giving a response rate of 100%. Out of 319 PLWHA the largest numbers of participants, 46.4% were in the age group of 25-34 years. The overall 201(63.0%) PLWHA were food insecure. Educational status of elementary or lower [OR = 3.10 (95%CI; (1.68-5.71)], average family monthly income <100 USD [OR = 13.1 (95% CI; (4.29-40.0)] and lower food diversity [OR = 2.18 (95%CI; (1.21-3.99)] were significantly and independently associated with food insecurity.


Food insecurity is a significant problem among PLWHA on HAART. Lower educational status and low family income were the predictors of food insecurity. Food security interventions should be an integral component of HIV/AIDS care and support programs. Special attention need to be given to patients who have lower educational status and are members of households with low income.

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