WHO to Launch Campaign Aimed at Improving Nutrition Among HIV-Positive People in South, Southeast Asia
October 17, 2007
The World Health Organization soon will launch a campaign in South and Southeast Asia aimed at making nutrition programs a central part of HIV/AIDS treatment in the region, Randa Saadeh, a scientist in WHO's Nutrition for Health and Development Department, said recently, Inter Press Service reports. Saadeh was speaking at the end of a weeklong meeting in Bangkok aimed at increasing support for the campaign and ensuring that governments in the region have measures to implement program in place by 2009.
Studies conducted among the estimated four million people living with HIV/AIDS in South and Southeast Asia in 2006 found that many people had difficulty accessing proper nutrition. "High malnutrition rates persist in the region, and food is often identified as the most immediate and critical need by people living with HIV and others affected by the epidemic," WHO said.
Prasada Rao, head of the Asia-Pacific division of UNAIDS, said that HIV-positive people taking antiretroviral drugs might be unable to handle the medication without proper nutrition. He added that low-income populations without proper nutrition also might sell antiretrovirals for money to purchase food. Current "nutrition policies of governments" in the region "do not address the HIV/AIDS concerns," Rao said, adding that HIV/AIDS and nutrition "have to be addressed together, as one" (Macan-Markar, Inter Press Service, 10/14).
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This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.