Nutrition in HIV treatment and care slows down HIVListen /
This World AIDS Day (1 December) we are observing unprecedented results in the prevention and treatment of HIV.
A statement from the Executive Director of the World Food Programme ( WFP) Ertharin Cousin says access to adequate and nutritious food for a person living with HIV to respond well to antiretroviral treatment (ART) is essential.
And as one of the ten co-sponsors of UNAIDS, WFP has played a major role in providing food and nutrition support to affected populations, lending to the welcome slow-down in the HIV epidemic that has claimed far too many lives over the past few years.
The WFP chief says good nutrition is vital for the health and survival of all people, but it is particularly important for people with HIV and AIDS. Food assistance not only increases the effectiveness of ART, but also helps ensure greater adherence to treatment regimens, as people living with HIV are no longer forced to choose between treatment or food.
Executive Director Ertharin Cousin says that in the poorest communities, WFP's food and nutrition support to people living with HIV and their families, including pregnant women and new mothers, helps improve access to treatment and increase treatment success – which means saving more lives and seeing fewer infections.
This is why, she says, she's so proud of the work that WFP is doing in this area. She points to the innovative electronic voucher programme in Zimbabwe, bringing relief to many living with HIV, to livelihood assistance programmes in Ethiopia, which act as social safety nets for people affected by HIV.
Donn Bobb, United Nations.