Effectiveness of macronutrient supplementation on nutritional status and HIV/AIDS progression: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018 Oct:27:66-74. doi: 10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.06.007. Epub 2018 Jul 6.


Background & aims: Malnutrition is common in Sub-Saharan Africa, weakening the immune function of persons living with HIV infection (PLWH). Being malnourished at the initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) leads to higher risk of early mortality and reduced quality of life. Thus, introduction of protein-energy-fortified macronutrient supplements at ART initiation may improve HIV treatment outcomes. This review aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of macronutrient interventions.

Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis included 15 studies conducted from 2000 to 2015 among Sub-Saharan African adults.

Results: Six randomized controlled trials and 4 retrospective cohort studies provided data eligible for a meta-analysis. Supplementation significantly increased the overall standardized mean difference (SMD) between baseline and follow-up data in weight (SMD = 0.382, p < .001), BMI (SMD = 0.799, p < .001); fat-free mass (SMD = 0.154, p = .009); and CD4 count (SMD = 0.428, p < .001).

Conclusion: Protein-energy-fortified macronutrient supplementation at ART initiation may positively influence nutritional status and immunologic response in PLWH in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Keywords: HIV; Macronutrient; Malnutrition; Nutritional supplement; Sub-Saharan Africa.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Energy Intake
  • Food, Fortified
  • HIV Infections / diet therapy*
  • HIV Infections / immunology
  • HIV Infections / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Nutrients / therapeutic use*
  • Nutrition Therapy*
  • Nutritional Status / immunology
  • Nutritional Status / physiology*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Nutrients