Dietary Practices Among Adults Living with HIV and AIDS Attending Clinics at Narok County Referral Hospital, Kenya

  • Silas Tumpeine Department of Health, Narok County Referral Hospital, P.O. BOX 11-20500, Narok, Kenya
  • Dr. Dorcus Mbithe Kigaru (PhD) Department of Foods, Nutrition & Dietetics Kenyatta University, P.O BOX 43844-00100 GPO Nairobi, Kenya
  • Dr. Peter Chege (PhD) Department of Foods, Nutrition & Dietetics Kenyatta University, P.O BOX 43844-00100 GPO Nairobi, Kenya
Keywords: Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Dietary Practices, PLHIV and Nutritional Status.


A combination of malnutrition, Human immune deficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) leads to a vicious cycle of immune malfunction, malnutrition and infectious diseases. Despite more funds being accessible for PLHIV treatment, and many of such programs having positive outcomes, HIV remains a greater basis of morbidity and mortality. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of dietary intake and demographic and social economic status   among adult patients living with HIV and AIDS attending Narok County Referral Hospital. The study adopted cross-sectional analytical design. Purposive sampling was used to select Narok county referral hospital, the PLHIV attending the comprehensive care clinic at the hospital and key informants. Simple random sampling was applied to select the 121 respondents from the PLHIV visiting the clinic. A structured questionnaire and anthropometric form were used to collect the data. Besides, 24-hour dietary recalls and a 7-day food frequency questionnaire were used to collect dietary data and were analyzed both descriptively and inferentially; the test of   significance was done at a significant level of 0.05. The results were used to establish the nutritional status of PLHIV clients. Secondary data of the patients was collected from their files.The study established that most of the respondents were not consuming the required level of nutrients such as fiber, fat, cholesterol, vitamins E, B1 and 2, Folic Acid, zinc and iron. This was reflected in the 7-day food frequency questionnaire which showed that most patients were not getting the required foods from all the categories considered. It was also noted that most patients had financial challenges and this influenced their dietary intake and hence nutritional status was not statistically significant among PLHIV attending Narok County referral hospital. The study concluded that the three measures of nutritional status used in this study (BMI, MUAC and WHIR) may not be adequate predictors among adult PLHIV. The results are expected to be beneficial to health facilities at the County and National levels, health partners, beneficiaries, health care workers and researchers.


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