Infection by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is characterized by progressive destruction of the immune system, which leads to recurrent opportunistic infections and malignancies, progressive debilitation and death. Malnutrition is one major complication of HIV infection and is recognized as a significant prognostic factor in advanced disease. Malnutrition is multifactorial and poorly treated during the course of HIV. Even if a standardized approach to the management of active weight loss has not been well established, early nutritional intervention is important in HIV infected patients to maximize gain of lean body mass. From early in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), an initial decreased incidence of malnutrition was noted only in western countries while a variety of changes in the distribution of body fat and associated metabolic abnormalities have been recognized under the banner of lipodystrophy.