High prevalence of food insecurity among HIV-infected individuals receiving HAART in a resource-rich setting

AIDS Care. 2011 Feb;23(2):221-30. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2010.498908.


This study aimed to assess the prevalence and correlates of food insecurity in a cohort of HIV-infected individuals on highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in British Columbia (BC), Canada. Adults receiving HAART voluntarily enrolled into the Longitudinal Investigations into Supportive and Ancillary Health Services (LISA) cohort. Individual food insecurity was measured using a modified version of the Radimer/Cornell Questionnaire. We performed bivariate analyses to determine differences between explanatory variables for individuals who were food secure and food insecure. We performed logistic regression to determine independent predictors of food insecurity. Of the 457 individuals enrolled in the LISA cohort, 324 (71.0%) were found to be food insecure. Multivariate analysis indicated that individuals who had an annual incomes less than $15,000 (odds ratio [OR] 3.15, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.83, 5.44), used illicit drugs (OR 1.85, 95% CI 1.03, 3.33), smoked tobacco (OR 2.30, 95% CI 1.30, 4.07), had depressive symptoms (OR 2.34, 95% CI 1.38, 3.96), and were younger (OR 0.95, 95% CI, 0.92, 0.98) were more likely to be food insecure. Our results demonstrated a high (71%) prevalence of food insecurity among HIV-infected individuals receiving HAART in this resource-rich setting, and that food insecurity is associated with a compendium of environmental and behavioral factors. More research is needed to understand the biological and social pathways linking food insecurity to these variables in order to identify program strategies that can effectively improve food security among HIV-infected populations.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active*
  • British Columbia / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Food Supply* / economics
  • HIV Infections* / economics
  • HIV Infections* / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Poverty / psychology
  • Prevalence
  • Socioeconomic Factors