ASSESSMENT OF DIETARY PATTERN AND NUTRITIONAL STATUS OF PEOPLE LIVING WITH HIV/AIDS ATTENDING SOME VOLUNTARY AND COUNSELLING TEST (VCT) UNITS

ABSTRACT

This study evaluated the dietary habits and nutritional status of PLWHA who participated in some voluntary and counseling test units in the city of Kaduna. The study’s 74 adult HIV-positive patients, who ranged in age from 18 to 60, and 74 HIV-negative, age- and sex-matched volunteers served as the study’s control group. To gather data on the socioeconomic and demographic traits of the subjects, a semi-structured questionnaire was used. Using a food frequency questionnaire, the subjects’ and the control’s dietary diversity was evaluated. While serum zinc and iron were measured using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, blood serum total protein, total cholesterol, HDL, and LDL cholesterol were determined spectrophotometrically. According to the results, 39.19% of patients were between the ages of 26 and 33. Significant percentages Some patients (25.68%) and the control group (37.93%) were underweight (BMI 18.49kg/m2), while the majority of patients (33.78%) and the control group (52.7%) were overweight (BMI 25.00kg/m2).

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

Human Immunodeficiency Virus, also referred to as AIDS, is the virus that causes acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV). This is a microscopic, visually invisible germ that targets the body’s immune system. The virus that causes AIDS weakens the body’s immune system, making it defenseless to infection (Hawkes et al., 2002). The World Health Organization (2005) states that AIDS is the disease that is currently most despised, feared, and discussed in the world. It is a fatal illness that has no treatment. HIV I and HIV II are the two main subtypes, according to Ojedokun (2004). Throughout the world, HIV I is the most prevalent strain, whereas HIV II is only widespread in

South Africa. Compared to other infections and the typical case of inadequate nutrient intake, the intensity and pattern of how HIV/AIDS affects nutritional status are very different (Piwoz and Preble, 2000). Due to the lack of an effective treatment for HIV/AIDS, infected patients’ immune systems are constantly exposed to infections, which negatively impact their nutritional status and immune capacity (Piwoz and Preble, 2000).

Malnutrition poses a serious risk to those with HIV/AIDS. HIV places demands on the body’s nutritional status even in the early stages of infection, when no symptoms are visible (Walsh et al., 2003). As the infection progresses, the risk of malnutrition rises significantly. HIV/AIDS cannot be cured or prevented by good nutrition. not only can it slow the spread of HIV to AIDS-related illnesses, but it can also help a person with HIV/AIDS maintain and improve their nutritional status (Piwoz and Preble, 2000). As a result, it can enhance the quality of life for those who are HIV/AIDS positive. From the earliest stages of the infection, nutritional support and care are crucial to preventing the development of nutritional deficiencies. Maintaining one’s fitness and weight will be made easier with a healthy, balanced diet.

 

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