Nirmala Niketan, India
Title: Impact of nutrition intervention on nutritional status of HIV positive women
Veena Yardi, associate Professor, is working in the Department of Foods, Nutrition and Dietetics, College of Home Science, Nirmala Niketan, affiliated to the University of Mumbai for last 25 years. She has a vast experience of teaching, research and extension in the area of Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics. She is working in the area of Nutrition for people living with HIV/AIDS and involved in training of HIV/AIDS counselors in Nutrition for more than 7 years. Recently, she submitted her Ph.D. thesis (under the guidance of Dr. Subhadra Mandalika) to the University of Mumbai.
Women are at higher risk of contracting HIV infection and various socio-cultural and financial factors prevent them from seeking medical care especially in developing countries like India. The present study was undertaken to investigate the impact of long term (11-month) nutrition intervention (Diet counseling and Food supplementation) on the nutritional status of 67 HIV positive women (33.96±5.57 yrs) living in resource poor settings of Mumbai, India. Participants were recruited through six NGO run-community care centers and one ART centre using purposive sampling technique. Nutritional status of the participants was assessed periodically through anthropometrical (weight, MUAC, SFT, waist circumference, hip circumference, WHR BMI, MAMC, and UAMA) and body composition parameters (body mass, water, bone and fat contents), records of CD4 counts along with observation for clinical signs for nutrient deficiencies, dietary practices (using pretested questionnaire and FFQ) and dietary nutrient intake (using 24-hour dietary recall method). All the anthropometric indices as well as nutrient intakes showed an improvement during intervention period. Frequency of consumption of fruits, nuts and oilseeds was higher at the end of the intervention trial. Participants had significantly greater increase in their CD4 count (109.3±140.02 cells/µl) post intervention. The impact was in direct proportion to the duration of the intervention period. Thus, the study indicated a strong need for nutrition education and provision of nutritious supplements to women from poor families living with HIV/AIDS.