Nutrition and HIV in China
- This fact sheet explores the topic of food and nutrition in China and begins by defining the terms nutrition and HIV. It also gives a general description of what the topic is about.
- It gives a background of the topic focusing on why it is important and the key at risk-populations.
- It explores the challenges encountered in addressing the topic and analyses how different levels of the social ecological model impacts the topic.
- It identifies the best practices that might help to address the problem presented in the topic.
- Nutrition is all about food from regular consumption to eating a balanced diet that is crucial for good health and wellbeing.
- Food security is the availability of food to a given population.
- People living with HIV in China and beyond face the challenge of food insecurity whereby food is not readily available, cannot be easily accessed, and the little available food is poorly utilized (Anema, Fielden, Castleman, Grede, Heap, & Bloem, 2014).
- Food insecurity adversely impacts the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV in China.
- HIV is one of the biggest health problems in the world today and particularly in populated countries such as China.
- In China, the focus has been on addressing this problem with the health and wellbeing of the HIV population being prioritized.
- Food and nutrition security is one of the key sectors that key stakeholders in China should focus on if they are to address the problem.
- Poor nutrition is associated with increased risks of mortality among people living with HIV (Fielden, Anema, Fergusson, Muldoon, Grede, & de Pee, 2014).
- In China, individuals of all ages and sex are at a risk of HIV infections and the poor nutrition exacerbates the mortality risk for these populations.
- Thus, this topic is important as it gives insight into what can be done in terms of food security to improve the livelihoods of people living with HIV in China.
- A number of challenges are encountered when it comes to stemming the HIV/AIDS epidemic in China and beyond.
- For instance, gaps in policies have been a challenge when it comes to fighting the epidemic.
- Governments, donors, and other stakeholders have ineffective policies. At times, stakeholders have different objectives and approaches to fighting the menace.
- Food security is one of the most important approaches to helping people living with HIV. However, less focus is on ensuring food security and this adversely impacts the HIV population (Anema, Fielden, Castleman, Grede, Heap, & Bloem, 2014).
- Socio-cultural factors at the individual, household, institutional, and community levelsalso hinder stemming of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
- At the individual level are factors such as fear od disclosure, mental health, alcohol or drug use, and level of trust in providers (Young, Wheeler, McCoy, & Weiser, 2014).
- At the household level are factors such as food insecurity, family and partner relationships, social support, unstable housing, financial difficulties, and pressure to share medications (Young, Wheeler, McCoy, & Weiser, 2014).
- At institutional level are factors such as long waiting times, high user fees, heavy workloads of healthcare staff, poor counselling, and medication stock-outs.
- At the community level are factors such as stigma and discrimination, gender and inequalities, weak food or agricultural systems, and political crises (Young, Wheeler, McCoy, & Weiser, 2014).
- Adherence to antiretroviral therapy (ART) is a best practice in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic (Young, Wheeler, McCoy, & Weiser, 2014).
- Ensuring food security could improve the health and wellbeing of people living with HIV (Hatsu, Hade, & Campa, 2017).
- Improved medical attention to patients living with HIV can reduce the risk of mortality.
Anema, A., Fielden, S. J., Castleman, T., Grede, N., Heap, A., & Bloem, M. (2014). Food security in the context of HIV: towards harmonized definitions and indicators. AIDS and Behavior, 18(5), 476-489. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10461-013-0659-x.pdf
Fielden, S. J., Anema, A., Fergusson, P., Muldoon, K., Grede, N., & de Pee, S. (2014). Measuring food and nutrition security: tools and considerations for use among people living with HIV. AIDS and behavior, 18(5), 490-504. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10461-013-0669-8.pdf
Hatsu, I., Hade, E., & Campa, A. (2017). Food security status is related to mental health quality of life among persons living with HIV. AIDS and behavior, 21(3), 745-753. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5303547/pdf/nihms820743.pdf
Young, S., Wheeler, A. C., McCoy, S. I., & Weiser, S. D. (2014). A review of the role of food insecurity in adherence to care and treatment among adult and pediatric populations living with HIV and AIDS. AIDS and Behavior, 18(5), 505-515. Retrieved from https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs10461-013-0547-4.pdf