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High Prevalence of Food Insecurity Among HIV-Infected Individuals Receiving HAART in a Resource-Rich Setting

June 3, 2011

The researchers set out to assess the prevalence and correlates of food insecurity in a cohort of HIV-positive persons receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy in British Columbia. The adults receiving HAART had voluntarily enrolled in the Longitudinal Investigations into Supportive and Ancillary Health Services (LISA) cohort.


A modified version of the Radimer/Cornell questionnaire was used to measure individual food insecurity, while bivariate analyses determined the differences between explanatory variables for individuals who were food secure and food insecure. Independent predictors of food insecurity were determined through logistic regression.

There were 457 individuals enrolled in the LISA cohort; of these, 324 (71 percent) were classified as food insecure. Multivariate analysis determined that the individuals more likely to be food insecure were those who had incomes of less than $15,000 (odds ratio 3.15, 95 percent confidence interval 1.83, 5.44), used illicit drugs (OR 1.85, 95 percent CI 1.03, 3.33), smoked tobacco (OR 2.30, 95 percent CI 1.30, 4.07), had depressive symptoms (OR 2.34, 95 percent CI 1.38, 3.96), and were younger (OR 0.95, 95 percent CI 0.92, 0.98).

"Our results demonstrated a high (71 percent) prevalence of food insecurity among HIV-infected individuals receiving HAART in this resource-rich setting, and that food insecurity is associated with a compendium of environmental and behavioral factors," the authors concluded. "More research is needed to understand the biological and social pathways linking food insecurity to these variables in order to identify program strategies that can effectively improve food security among HIV-infected populations."

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Excerpted from:
02.2011; Vol. 23; No. 2: P. 221-230; A. Anema, S.D. Weiser, K.A. Fernandes, E. Ding, E.K. Brandson, A. Palmer, J.S.G. Montaner, R.S. Hogg

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