Nutrition counselling, care and support for HIV-infected women: guidelines on HIV-related care, treatment and support for HIV-infected women and their children in resource –constrained settings.

Nutrition counselling, care and support for HIV-infected women: guidelines on HIV-related care, treatment and support for HIV-infected women and their children in resource –constrained settings.

Dual burdens of HIV and reproduction make nutrition interventions crucial for HIV-infected women

This World Health Organization document reviews current evidence on the relationship between nutrition and HIV and AIDS, as well as on the role of nutrition in HIV transmission, disease progression, morbidity, and disease management. Based on this review, it makes detailed recommendations on nutrition counselling, care and support for HIV-infected women. These cover: nutrition assessment, nutrition counselling and support, use of micronutrient supplements, management of wasting, and nutritional considerations for persons on antiretroviral treatment (ART).

The document also highlights the following general principles: (1) nutrition advice, counselling, care and support for HIV-infected women are especially important because of the dual burdens of HIV and reproduction (pregnancy and breastfeeding) on nutritional vulnerability; (2) all antenatal and postnatal women can benefit from nutrition advice, counselling, care, and support aimed at preventing malnutrition during pregnancy and improving reproductive health and child health outcomes; (3) the focus of nutrition, advice, counselling, care and support varies with the health status of the client; and (4) women receiving ART and treatment for opportunistic infections should be given advice and counselling on related nutritional issues, and should be followed up in order to monitor and treat any adverse nutritional complications. [adapted from authors]

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