Macronutrient Supplementation and Food Prices in HIV Treatment

J Nutr. 2010 Jan;140(1):213S-23S. doi: 10.3945/jn.109.110569. Epub 2009 Nov 25.


Infection caused by HIV and malnutrition have a complex interaction and often coexist geographically. Malnutrition has synergistic immune effects and HIV affects nutritional status. HIV care and treatment programs are compelled to confront this dual burden to optimize HIV outcomes. In this article, we review the published literature concerning intervention studies in adults and children and the effect of food prices on HIV treatment programs. While the evidence base is relatively incomplete for specific macronutrient interventions in the context of HIV treatment, it is clear that a new standard of care is needed, guided by experience, rationale, and existing data, in which malnourished patients may easily access nutritional therapies within HIV treatment. From this clinical foundation, we may both treat patients and evaluate novel therapies. Some HIV care and treatment programs provide food-based supplements; however, rising food costs and economic instability may jeopardize the success of these programs. HIV treatment programs may struggle to meet the needs of patients with potential increased rates of malnutrition and food insecurity in the setting of high food prices.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Food / economics*
  • HIV Infections / economics*
  • HIV Infections / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Poverty