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Nutritional Rules For HIV Patients

HIV Patients

Nutritional Rules For HIV Patients

When infected with the HIV virus the body’s defence system – the immune system – works harder to fight infection. This increases energy and nutrient requirements. Further infection and fever also increase the body’s demand for food.

One of the consequences of HIV and other infections is that since the gut wall is damaged, food does not pass through properly and is consequently not absorbed. Diarrhoea is a common occurrence in people with HIV/AIDS. When a woman has diarrhoea the food passes through the gut so quickly that it is not properly digested and fewer nutrients are absorbed. Reduced food intake and absorption lead to weight loss and malnutrition. One of the possible signs of the onset of clinical AIDS is a weight loss of about 6-7 kg for an average adult. When a person is already underweight, a further weight loss can have serious effects.

Problems can be related to HIV infection itself and to the effects of anti-HIV therapy, also called HAART (highly active antiretroviral therapy).

Check out the Nutritional Rules.

Caretakers should ensure that sick members of the family are given preference, fed more frequently and receive extra servings to maintain their weight and strength. Food should be served in an attractive way.


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