Food insecurity is a considerable challenge in sub-Saharan Africa, disproportionately affecting persons living with HIV/AIDS. This study investigates the lived experience, determinants, and consequences of food insecurity and hunger among individuals living with HIV/AIDS on the shore of Lake Victoria in Suba District, Kenya.
Parallel mixed methods included semi-structured interviews and administration of the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale among a systematic sample of 67 persons living with HIV/AIDS (49 of whom were receiving antiretroviral therapy [ART]). All respondents were either severely (79.1%) or moderately (20.9%) food insecure; no respondents were mildly food insecure or food secure.
Qualitative data and simple and multiple linear regression models indicated that significant determinants of food insecurity include increased age, a greater number of children, and not being married. A number of themes related to food insecurity and ART emerged, including: (1) an increase in hunger or appetite since initiating ART; (2) exacerbation of ART-related side effects; and (3) non-adherence to ART due to hunger, food insecurity, or agricultural work responsibilities. HIV interventions should address food insecurity and hunger, particularly among at-risk populations, to promote ART adherence and better health outcomes.
Download Full Publication: Social determinants, lived experiences, and consequences of household food insecurity among persons living with HIV/AIDS on the shore of Lake Victoria, Kenya. AIDS Care 24(6): 728-736.