Proper food and good nutrition can keep people living with HIV health: WFP

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Women queueing for free food and medicine in Haiti: WFP

Proper food and good nutrition can keep people living with HIV healthy and improve the effectiveness of their treatment, Executive Director of the World Food programme Ertharin Cousin said in a message marking World AIDS Day, observed Sunday 1 December.

She said on World AIDS this year, the World Food Programme (WFP) is proud to play a role in the tremendous progress made in the battle against HIV/AIDS in recent years.

In 2012, WFP supported more than 1.5 million people in 33 countries through its HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) programmes.

According to Ms. Cousin, to win the battle against HIV, she believes partnerships are essential, noting that WFP is one of 11 co-sponsors of UNAIDS, the UN Joint Programme that works to achieve universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

She explained that within UNAIDS, WFP is responsible for integrating food and nutrition into the HIV response. WFP works together with UNHCR to coordinate the HIV response in humanitarian emergencies. And WFP has recently forged a new partnership with UNFPA in which a nutrition component was added to UNFPA's Adolescent Girls Initiative.

According to the UNAIDS 2013 Report, 35.3 million people live with HIV worldwide, 25 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the clear success of anti-retroviral treatment, one third of those who begin treatment are no longer following it three years later. WFP's food and nutrition assistance is an essential and cost-effective way to encourage people to start and stick to anti-retroviral treatment.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’33″

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