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Locating Basic Resources on HIV/AIDS and Nutrition

September 1997

A note from The field of medicine is constantly evolving. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

Organizations | Newsletters | Educational Materials

Journal Articles

Materials Available from the CDC National Aids Clearinghouse

World Wide Web Sites on Nutrition


For persons living with HIV/AIDS, practicing sound nutrition can play a key role in preventing malnutrition and wasting syndrome, which can weaken an already compromised immune system. Immuno-compromised persons with poor nutrition have an increased susceptibility to opportunistic infections and a more rapid disease progression. Optimal nutritional practices can potentially slow progression of the disease and in addition, control the costs of health care.

Staff from the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse (CDC NAC) have developed "Locating Basic Resources on HIV/AIDS and Nutrition" to assist individuals in finding information on HIV/AIDS and nutrition. It includes references to national organizations working in nutrition, listings of newsletters, World Wide Web sites, and descriptions of selected educational materials and journal articles. Resources in this guide will direct you to information on these topics:

  • Food safety for persons with HIV/AIDS
  • Malnutrition, weight loss, and wasting syndrome
  • Suggested recipes
  • Vitamins and dietary supplements

For more information, or a customized search of any of the databases, contact the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse at 1-800-458-5231.


These organizations offer information on HIV/AIDS and nutrition, as well as on nutrition in general. They are drawn from the Clearinghouse's Resources and Services Database, which lists more than 18,000 AIDS-related organizations throughout the United States. For more information, or a customized search of the database, call 1-800-458-5231.

AIDS Clinical Trials Information Service
P.O. Box 6421 Rockville, MD 20849-6421
(800) 874-2572
(800) 243-7012 (TTY)
(301) 217-0023 (international)
(301) 519-6616 (fax)

AIDS Clinical Trials Information Service (ACTIS) reference specialists assist health care professionals; HIV service providers; and persons living with HIV/AIDS, their family, and their friends to obtain information on clinical trials.

AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA)
1313 N. Vine St. Los Angeles, CA 90028
(213) 993-1600
(213) 993-1598

AIDS Project Los Angeles (APLA) provides an AIDS information and education hotline. It also offers services to persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs) and their significant others, including nutritional counseling.

American Dietetic Association (ADA)
National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics
216 W. Jackson Blvd.
Suite 800 Chicago, Il 60606-6995
(312) 899-0040
(800) 366-1655
Consumer Nutrition Hotline (Mon.-Fri. 8 am-8 pm):
(900) 225-5267 -- speak with a registered dietician

The National Center for Nutrition and Dietetics provides general information on nutrition, diet, and health to professionals and consumers. Referrals to registered dieticians can be obtained by calling the Consumer Nutrition Hotline. Written materials also available. The ADA developed a position paper titled Position of "The American Dietetic Association and The Canadian Dietetic Association: Nutrition Intervention in the Care of Persons with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection."

American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)
Nutrition Hotline 1759 R St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 328-7744
(800) 843-8114 (District of Columbia callers only)

The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), Nutrition Hotline, has registered dieticians who answer specific questions on diet and nutrition as they relate to cancer. Information packets containing nutrition information, treatment options, and resource and financial guides are available as part of the Cancer Resource Program.

CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 6003
Rockville, MD 20849-6003
(800) 458-5231
(800) 243-7012 (TTY)
(301) 217-0023 (international)
(301) 519-6616 (fax)

The CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse is a national reference, referral, and publications distribution service for HIV/AIDS information. Staff can provide callers with information about publications on HIV/AIDS and nutrition, and can refer callers to organizations in their area that provide nutrition counseling.

HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service
P.O. Box 6303
Rockville, MD 20849-6303
(800) 448-0440
(800) 243-7012 (TTY)
(301) 217-0023 (international)
(301) 519-6616 (fax)

HIV/AIDS Treatment Information Service (ATIS) reference specialists assist health care professionals; HIV service providers; and persons living with HIV/AIDS, their family, and their friends obtain information on federally approved treatment options for wasting syndrome as well as other treatment-related concerns.

National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA)
1413 K St., NW., 7th Fl.
Washington, DC 20005-3476
(202) 898-0414
(202) 898-0435

The National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA) is dedicated to improving the lives of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs) at home, in the community, and in the workplace. Founded in 1983 by a coalition of PLWAs, NAPWA serves as a national information resource and voice for the needs and concerns of all Americans infected with and affected by HIV. NAPWA is committed to building public and private sector support for HIV prevention and access to quality health care.

U.S. Department of Agriculture
National Agriculture Library
Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC)
10301 Baltimore Ave., Rm. 304
Beltsville, MD 20705
(301) 504-5719

The Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) provides information concerning human nutrition, food service management, and food technology. FNIC offers books, audiovisual materials, and journal articles. Bibliographies and resource guides concerning a wide variety of topics are also available.


Newsletters offer timely access to information on the latest developments related to HIV/AIDS and nutrition. For more information, or a customized search, call CDC NAC at 1-800-458-5231.

AIDS, Medicine, and Miracles: Our Newsletter to Family and Friends

This quarterly newsletter contains information about alternative and holistic treatments for HIV/AIDS, including information on nutrition. Available from AIDS Medicine and Miracles, P.O. Box 20650, Boulder, CO 80308-3650. (303) 447-8777.

AIDS Treatment News

AIDS Treatment News reports on experimental and complementary treatments and examines the ethical and public policy issues surrounding AIDS treatment research and treatment access. It includes items such as interviews with HIV/AIDS Benefits Counselors and coverage of AIDS-related political news. This bi-weekly newsletter is indexed and available through AIDSLINE, P.O. Box 411256, San Francisco, CA 94141. (415) 255-0588. (Online version at The Body.)

Critical Path AIDS Project

This quarterly journal presents information on AIDS and its treatment, looking at nutritional and other non-mainstream therapies. Available from Critical Path AIDS Project, 2062 Lombard St., Philadelphia, PA 19146. (215) 545-2212.

HIV Nutrition Report

This quarterly newsletter contains abstracts of published research articles dealing with nutrition. These abstracts address topics such as supplements, nontraditional therapy, and vitamins, and how they pertain to HIV/AIDS. Available from the North Jersey Community Research Initiative, 393 Central Ave., Suite 301, Newark, NJ 07103. (201) 483-3444.

Nutrition for Life

This monthly newsletter provides nutritional tips for persons living with HIV/AIDS. Included are recipes and recommended foods, profiles on experts in the field, current treatment news, and information on food storage and preparation. Available from Tufts University School of Medicine, Department of Community Health, Division of Family Medicine, 136 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02111. (617) 636-7000.

Positive Nutrition

This quarterly newsletter covers nutrition issues as they relate to persons living with HIV/AIDS. Varying nutrition needs of different population groups, such as women and children, are addressed. Recipes are provided as well. Available from Project Open Hand, Kitchen/Main Office, 2720 17th St., San Francisco, CA 94110. (415) 558-0600.

Educational Materials and Selected Journal Articles

The educational materials listed in this section offer information on specific topics related to HIV/AIDS and nutrition. They are drawn from the CDC NAC Educational Materials Database. A separate section of journal articles follows the educational materials section. Both the materials and journal articles are listed by publication date (most recent first) and then alphabetically by title. Prices for the materials have been included when available. For more information, or a customized search, call 1-800-458-5231.

Educational Materials

Positive Cooking: Cooking for People Living With HIV
McMillan, L.; Jarvie, J.; Brauer, J. 1997, 251 p.: ill.

This cookbook and nutrition guide for people with HIV disease contains basic nutrition advice to help restore or maintain quality of life. The first section includes a brief overview of basic nutrition and a discussion of the importance of nutrition in treatment. This section outlines specific nutrition recommendations for persons living with HIV/AIDS. These recommendations are illustrated by a food guide. Part two of the book consists of recipes designed to address specific nutritional needs of people with HIV. The recipes are easy to prepare and contain ingredients that most people would already have on hand. Each recipe contains a calorie count and the amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in the dish. Each recipe also outlines the symptoms that the recipe is designed to alleviate.

Available from Avery Publishing Group, 120 Old Broadway, Garden City Park, NY 11040. (800) 548-5757. ISBN: 0-89529-734-5; Price: $12.95 per copy.

Eat Up! Nutrition Advice and Food Ideas for People Living With HIV and AIDS
Smigelski, C. 1996, 55 p.: tables.

This workbook contains nutrition, meal planning, and diet information for persons living with HIV disease. The book provides advice on mineral and vitamin supplementation, eating extra calories to enhance the immune system, and eating extra protein to fight viruses and prevent muscle wasting. The book explains the link between nutrition and immunity, discusses weight loss patterns in persons living with HIV/AIDS and provides a weight tracking chart and sample menus. Tips for coping with special circumstances such as significant weight loss, sore mouth and throat, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are provided. The handbook presents sample shopping guides, snacking strategies, tips on exercise, and recipe suggestions.

Available from Charlie Smigelski, RD, 107 Oxford St., Cambridge, MA 02138. (617) 876-4310. Price: $12.00 per copy; Bulk rate applicable.

Nutrition Handouts for HIV/AIDS
1996, 1 set of handouts -- 24 p.: b&w, ill., tables.

This information package is a series of 10 camera-ready nutrition handouts of interest to persons living with HIV/AIDS. The handouts present tips and strategies designed to help HIV/AIDS patients plan and eat a nutritionally dense diet at all stages of the disease. HIV/AIDS-related complications can compromise the nutritional status of the patient; nutritional and dietary measures may provide significant symptomatic relief. Handout topics include appetite loss, reduced lactose tolerance, safe foods, vitamins and minerals, and difficulties associated with swallowing.

Available from Carrot Top Nutrition Resources, P.O. Box 460172, Aurora, CO 80015. (303) 690-3650. Price: $39.95 per copy plus $4.00 S/H.

Weight Loss and Wasting Syndrome
1996, 3 p.: table.

This fact sheet addresses weight loss and wasting syndrome, both common manifestations of HIV disease. A patient who loses more than one-tenth of his/her body weight in 90 days is considered to have wasting syndrome. The fact sheet explains why weight loss occurs in conjunction with HIV and the factors that might contribute to weight loss. The treatments include specific drugs, such as megestrol acetate, dronabinol, testosterone, growth hormone, and thalidomide. Hyperalimentation, or intravenous feeding, should be considered on a short-term basis during periods of acute illness.

Available from National AIDS Treatment Information Project, 330 Brookline Ave., Libby 317, Boston, MA 02215. (617) 667-5520.

Good Nutrition for People With HIV/AIDS
1995, 1 videocassette (10 min.): sound, color, 3/4 in. (VHS).

This video explains the role that good nutrition plays in the management of HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS patients need adequate germ-free foods and fluids to help their bodies counteract infection-related energy loss and weakened immune systems. The video demonstrates utensil and surface care, as well as cleaning and preparation. Foods to avoid (such as shellfish and raw fish products) are listed, and the correct amounts of protein, carbohydrates, calories, and fluids are discussed. Extra calories can be obtained through the intake of canned food supplements, and important electrolytes can be refurbished with sports drinks and electrolyte-replenishing beverages. In some cases, HIV/AIDS patients can use an appetite stimulant before meals to increase and enhance their appetite. A variety of other issues are covered, including dehydration, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, exercise, and vitamin supplements.

Available from Bristol Myers Squibb Company, P.O. Box 4500, Princeton, NJ 08543-4500. (800) 222-9123. Free.

Nutrition and HIV: A New Model for Treatment
Romeyn, M. 1995, 366 p.: appendixes, glossary.

This book offers a conceptual approach to understanding the nature and progression of HIV infection, particularly from the standpoint of nutrition. Written for those living with HIV and their caregivers, it emphasizes taking control of one's own health through better nutrition. The author, an internist on staff at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco who has a private practice specializing in HIV and nutrition, indicates that HIV infection causes changes in nutritional status from its earliest stages. She describes how HIV attacks the body's ability to maintain its core, and emphasizes practical approaches to recognizing, diagnosing, treating, and preventing the causes of wasting in HIV and AIDS. The first section outlines self-assessment procedures, vitamins and other supplements, exercises, improving environments and appetites, and designing a personal nutritional program. Other sections discuss actions to be taken in partnership with physicians and directing one's own healing.

Available from Jossey-Bass Publishers, P.O. Box 44305, San Francisco, CA 94144-4305. (888) 378-2537. Price: $18.

Nutritional Care for HIV-Positive Persons: A Manual for Individuals and Their Caregivers
Bahl, S.M.; Hickson, J.F. 1995, 103 p.: ill., graphs, refs., tables.

This manual is a practical treatment of the principles, rules, and directions needed to address issues related to diet and nutrition in persons living with HIV and AIDS. The manual targets HIV-positive persons and their caregivers, particularly those who have not been formally trained for the task. Chapters examine diet and nutrition for optimum immune function; body weight, illness, and death; chronic diarrhea; nutritional management of oral and esophageal complications and drug-induced complications; defensive eating; and alcohol. The final chapter discusses HIV infection in women, infants, and children.

Available from CRC Press, Incorporated, 2000 Corporate Blvd., NW, Boca Raton, FL 33431. (561) 994-0555. ISBN: 0-8493-7843-5.

Nutrition and HIV: Practical Dietary Guidelines for People With HIV Infection or AIDS
La Nutrición y el Virus HIV: Normas Dietéticas Prácticas Para la Gente Infectada con el Virus HIV o el SIDA

1994, 30 p.: ill.

This manual is provided to health care professionals as an aid in counseling HIV/AIDS patients on nutrition. It discusses the benefits of good nutrition, offers guidelines on building a nutritious diet, and suggests ways of increasing the calorie and protein content of a diet without serving larger portions. Directions for proper food handling are provided, as are tips for managing nutrition and alleviating symptoms in the event of fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, sore mouth or throat, and changing sense of taste. The manual promotes the use of Abbott Laboratories' nutritional product Advera, designed to meet the nutritional needs of people with HIV and AIDS. Patents are pending on the low-fat, high-fiber product, meant to be used as an oral supplement or meal replacement. Several recipes are included using chocolate and orange cream flavors of Advera. This manual is available in both English and Spanish.

Available from Abbott Laboratories/U.S. Ross Laboratories, 625 Cleveland Ave., Columbus, OH 43215. (614) 227-3333.

Pass the Calories, Please!
Gail, F. 1994, 162 p.: tables.

This cook book is designed as a practical guide for people who need suggestions on ways to increase calories in their diets. Practical tips are given on how to handle conditions that prevent one from eating well, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sore or dry mouth, or a general loss of appetite. The recipes included are rich in the nutrients that may be needed at such times, including vitamins, protein, and fiber. The book also discusses eating out, commercial supplements, and food safety.

Available from American Dietetic Association, 216 W. Jackson Blvd., Suite 800, Chicago, IL 60606-6995. (312) 899-0040. ISBN: 0-88091-134-6.

(General Information)
1993, 48 p.: b&w, tables.

This information package includes a reprint of an article that reviews basic information on vitamins and minerals, as well as examining several vitamins frequently discussed in the context of HIV. These include vitamin A, beta-Carotene, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, folate, and vitamin C. A second article focuses on the role and treatment of malnutrition in people with HIV. Subsequent articles include recommendations for vitamin supplements for people with HIV, the effects of vitamin and trace-element supplementation on immune responses and infection, a table that organizes the major nutrients that affect the immune system, and therapeutic basics for people living with HIV infection.

Available from AIDS Project Los Angeles, 1313 N. Vine St., Los Angeles, CA 90028. (213) 993-1600.
A photocopy of this material is available from the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse, Document Delivery Service, P.O. Box 6003, Rockville, MD 20849-6003. (800) 458-5231. Price: $7.30.

Selected Journal Articles

"Swallowing Shigella: Can Bacteria That Cause Food Poisoning Deliver Oral DNA Vaccines?" Travis, John. Science News (05/11/96) Vol. 149, No. 19, P. 302

"Growth Hormone and AIDS-Related Wasting" Steele, Fintan R. Nature Medicine (04/96) Vol. 2, No. 4, P. 369

"Wasting Syndrome: Oral Oxandrolone Re-released in U.S." James, John S. AIDS Treatment News (12/22/95) No. 237, P. 3. (Online version at The Body.)

"Keeping a Lid on Marijuana Research" Steele, Fintan R. Nature Medicine (09/95) Vol. 1, No. 9, P. 853

"The Effects of Vitamin A Supplementation on the Morbidity of Children Born to HIV-Infected Women" Coutsoudis, Anna; Bobat, Raziya A.; Coovadia, Hoosen M. et al. American Journal of Public Health (08/95) Vol. 85, No. 8, P. 1076

"HIV-Associated Diarrhea and Wasting" DuPont, H.L.; Marshall, G.D. The Lancet (08/05/95) Vol. 346, No. 8971, P. 352

"Energy Expenditure and Wasting in Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection" Macallan, Derek C.; Noble, Carole; Baldwin, Christine et al. New England Journal of Medicine (07/12/95) Vol. 333, No. 2, P. 83

"Wasting Syndrome Affordable Treatments" James, John S. AIDS Treatment News (07/07/95) No. 226, P. 6

"Dronabinol for Anorexia in AIDS" AIDS Clinical Care (05/95) Vol. 7, No. 5, P. 43

"Troubling Insights into AIDS Wasting" Raloff, Janet. Science News (04/22/95) Vol. 47, No. 16, P. 254

"Some Vitamins Associated with Decreased Risk of AIDS and Death" James, John S. AIDS Treatment News (01/06/95) No. 214, P. 3

"A Comparison of Calculated Energy Requirements to Measured Resting Energy Expenditure in HIV-1-Infected Subjects" Anderson, Robin; Grady, Christine; Ropka, Mary. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (11/94-12/94) Vol. 5, No. 6, P. 30

"AIDS and Nutrition: Clarification, Additional Resources" Tobias, Tadd. AIDS Treatment News (10/07/94) No. 208, P. 4

"Human Growth Hormone Reverses Wasting in Clinical Trial" James, John S. AIDS Treatment News (08/19/94) No. 25, P. 1

"An Anti-HIV Vitamin" Science (07/15/94) Vol. 265, No. 5170, P. 314

"Prayer, Meditation, Exercise, and Special Diets: Behaviors of the Hardy Person With HIV/AIDS" Carson, Verna Benner. Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (07/93-09/93) Vol. 4, No. 3, P. 18

"Six-Year Diet Study: Nutrients May Reduce AIDS Risk" James, John S. AIDS Treatment News (08/20/93) No. 181, P. 3

"Nutrition at VIII International Conference on AIDS" Heyman, Jason. AIDS Treatment News (09/04/92) No. 158, P. 1

"Nutrition at VIII International Conference on AIDS: Developing Countries" Heyman, Jason. AIDS Treatment News (09/04/92) No. 158, P. 3

"Nutrition at the VIII International Conference on AIDS: Malnutrition and AIDS" Heyman, Jason. AIDS Treatment News (09/04/92) No. 158, P. 3

Materials Available from the CDC National Aids Clearinghouse

The following materials are available directly from the CDC National AIDS Clearinghouse. If you would like to order any of these materials, please call the CDC NAC Publications Distribution Service at 1-800-458-5231. Order numbers for the materials are included in parentheses after the title; some materials are free and others require a small fee to cover shipping and handling.

Eating Defensively: Food Safety For Persons With AIDS (brochure-D533; video-V466) This video and brochure present food safety guidelines for persons living with HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS and Alternative Therapies (D775) This fact sheet examines the role of a variety of alternative therapies, including diet, nutrition, vitamins, minerals, and dietary supplements.

HIV/AIDS and Nutrition (D283) This is an annotated bibliography of current materials produced on HIV/AIDS and nutrition. Information provided includes title, author, description/abstract of materials and where the item can be obtained.

World Wide Web Sites on Nutrition

These Internet sites provide information related to HIV/AIDS and nutrition. They were located using a variety of Internet search engines. Information on the Internet changes and grows on an almost daily basis; new sources of information may have been developed since this resource guide was created.

The Body's Diet and Nutrition Page

This site provides access to information on HIV/AIDS and nutrition including publications on food safety, vitamins, and wasting.

This site provides information about the impact of nutrition on persons living with HIV/AIDS and definitions of terms commonly associated with nutrition and HIV.

American Dietetic Association

The American Dietetic Association Web site provides general information on nutrition as well as specific information on nutrition and HIV/AIDS. It has links to HIV/AIDS nutrition resources including the ADA Position Paper on HIV and Nutrition and ADA list of HIV/AIDS Nutrition Education Resources.

American Institute for Cancer Research

The American Institute for Cancer Research Web site provides general nutrition and diet information, recipes, links, and research.

Bastyr University AIDS Research

The Bastyr University AIDS Research Center Web site provides information on alternative medicine for the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

God's Love We Deliver

The God's Love We Deliver nutrition page provides a variety of information relating to HIV/AIDS and nutrition. There are links to fact sheets (English and Spanish), nutrition guides, recipes, and other resources.


The Immunet Web site provides a variety of HIV/AIDS information. The site hosts several forums including one on wasting syndrome where members can discuss standards of care, therapeutic options, case studies, and new developments.

The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care Nutrition Page

The International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care Nutrition Page provides links to current journal articles on HIV/AIDS and nutrition.

Stadtlanders Nutrition Basics

Stadtlanders, a specialty pharmacy, provides access to nutrition and education information. The site includes articles from Lifetimes and Lifetimes2.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC)

The FNIC Web site provides general nutrition information. Publications on nutrition are listed on the site as well as links to other sources of nutrition information.

A note from The field of medicine is constantly evolving. As a result, parts of this article may be outdated. Please keep this in mind, and be sure to visit other parts of our site for more recent information!

This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
See Also
An Introduction to Dietary Supplements for People Living With HIV/AIDS
Ask a Question About Diet or Nutrition at's "Ask the Experts" Forums
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