Commentary & Opinion
Response to HIV Should Consider Hunger
December 1, 2009
"Although there have been great improvements in treatment and care for people living with HIV in many countries, death due to HIV and AIDS-related illness in the world's poorest countries remains unjustifiably high," Breda Gahan, Concern Worldwide's global HIV and AIDS programme adviser, writes in an Irish Times opinion piece. Gahan highlights global hunger as a "major contributing factor" and examines how rising food prices and food shortages exacerbate the situation for HIV-positive people and contribute to death. She notes, "With effective interventions, both hunger and HIV are very preventable public health problems."
"The 2006 Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS -- unanimously adopted by 192 member states in New York -- committed to integrating food and nutritional support into the responses to HIV and AIDS," Gahan writes. But, "[t]imely delivery on the ... Declaration is being compromised by the global food, fuel and international financial crises," according to Gahan. "Programming of livelihood interventions that take into account issues of poverty, gender inequality, food insecurity and nutrition at [the] household level are essential in the response to HIV and AIDS," she concludes (12/1).
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily Global Health Policy Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.