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Social determinants, lived experiences, and consequences of household food insecurity among persons living with HIV/AIDS on the shore of Lake Victoria, Kenya

  • Author(s): Nagata, Jason M
  • Magerenge, Richard O
  • Young, Sera L
  • Oguta, Joel O
  • Weiser, Sheri D
  • Cohen, Craig R
  • et al.
Abstract

Food insecurity is a considerable challenge in sub-Saharan Africa, disproportionately affecting persons living with HIV/AIDS. This study investigates the lived experience, determinants, and consequences of food insecurity and hunger among individuals living with HIV/AIDS in Suba District, Kenya. Parallel mixed methods included semi-structured interviews and administration of the Household Food Insecurity Access Scale among a systematic sampling of 67 persons living with HIV/AIDS (49 of whom were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART)). Respondents were eitherseverely (79.1%) or moderately (20.9%) food insecure; no respondents were mildly food insecure or food secure. Qualitative data and simple and multiple linear regression models indicated that significant determinants of food insecurity include increased age, a greater number of children, and not being married. A number of themes related to food insecurity and ART emerged, including (1) an increase in hunger or appetite since initiating ART; (2) exacerbation of ART-related side effects; and (3) non-adherence to ART due to hunger, food insecurity, or agricultural work responsibilities. HIV interventions should address food insecurity and hunger, particularly among at-risk populations, to promote ART adherence and better health outcomes.

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