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Food Insecurity and Unmet Needs Among Youth and Young Adults Living With HIV in the San Francisco Bay Area



Little is known about food insecurity and unmet subsistence needs and their association with antiretroviral therapy adherence among youth and young adults living with HIV (YLWH).


We conducted a cross-sectional survey to examine this association in 101 YLWH (aged 18-29 years). Poisson regression models with robust standard errors were used to estimate adjusted risk ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs).


Approximately 51.7% of participants experienced at least one unmet subsistence need (difficulty finding enough to eat [36.6%], clothing [22.8%], place to sleep [21.8%], place to wash [17.8%], and bathroom [15.8%]), and 64.2% reported being food insecure. For every additional unmet need, the risk of very good/excellent adherence was reduced by 15% (RR = .85; 95% CI = .72-.99; p value = .04). The risk of very good/excellent adherence was lowered by 39% (RR = .61; 95% CI = .43-.87; p value = .005) among food insecure youth, compared with those who were food secure.


These data highlight the need for more research and structural interventions targeting food assistance strategies among YLWH.

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