HIV/AIDS and Nutrition: Helping Families and Communities to Cope
F. Egal and A. Valstar
Florence Egal is a Nutrition Officer and Arine Valstar is an Associate Professional Officer in the Household Food Security Group, Nutrition Programmes Service of FAO's Food and Nutrition Division.
Although human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is recognized predominantly as a health problem, the epidemic has multiple social and economic dimensions and implications since it affects adults in their most productive years of life. A health approach alone is not sufficient to prevent the spread of the disease or to mitigate its impact on both individuals and society. The spread of HIV/AIDS has become a major constraint to development in affected areas and must, therefore, become a major consideration in the programme planning of governments and agencies. The detrimental impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on nutrition and household food security in affected areas requires attention, and strategies to address these problems should be incorporated in programme planning.
The interaction between HIV/AIDS and nutrition can basically be seen from two perspectives:
• the biological perspective, which is the association between nutritional status and risk of infection, as well as the relationship of nutritional status and the evolution of the disease;
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