Association between Food Insecurity and HIV Viral Suppression: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

April 2017 - Structural Prevention

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Aibibula, W., Cox, J., Hamelin, A.M., et al. AIDS and Behavior (March 2017), 21(3): 754–765, doi:10.1007/s10461-016-1605-5.

The authors of this systematic review focused on clarifying the relationship between food insecurity and poor viral suppression in HIV-positive people who are receiving antiretroviral therapy. The authors searched five electronic databases for studies on this topic published through April 2015 and identified 11 eligible studies (9 from North America, 1 each from Brazil and Uganda). Their analysis showed that experiencing food insecurity reduced the likelihood of achieving complete HIV viral suppression by 29 percent across all studies and study designs. The authors noted that these findings did not demonstrate a causal link between food insecurity and incomplete viral response. In addition, they suggested that because of the provenance of most of the eligible papers, these findings may not be generalizable to low-income countries. However, they concluded that HIV-positive persons who are food-insecure may represent a more vulnerable population needing greater attention from providers and programmers.

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