Rising Food Prices Could Affect Those With HIV/AIDS, Increase Number of Women Entering Commercial Sex Trade, U.N. Officials Say
August 6, 2008
United Nations officials on Monday at the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City discussed how rising food prices could affect HIV/AIDS, Reuters reports. The United Nations said that climbing food prices -- due to increased use of biofuels, a growing demand for grains to feed large populations in Asia, droughts and market speculation -- caused 50 million more people to go hungry in 2007 compared with 2006.
Experts at the conference also said malnutrition can affect the health of HIV-positive people. Antiretroviral drugs can upset the stomach if not taken with food, and people living with HIV/AIDS, as well as tuberculosis, require more nutrients and calories, Martin Bloem, chief nutritionist at the World Food Program, said.
Kevin De Cock, director of the World Health Organization's HIV/AIDS Department, said, "We really need to watch this very carefully. We are in a situation of rising oil prices, rising food prices and at the same time the cost of AIDS is going up along with new infections (Rosenberg, Reuters 8/4).
Kaisernetwork.org is the official webcaster of the XVII International AIDS Conference in Mexico City. Click here to sign up for your Daily Update e-mail during the conference. A webcast of a conference session on food security and HIV/AIDS is available online.
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.