Nutritional status and its association with quality of life among people living with HIV attending public anti-retroviral therapy sites of Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
Publisher© 2015 BioMed Central Ltd.
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CitationThapa, R., Amatya, A., Pahari, D. P., Bam, K., & Newman, M. S. (2015). Nutritional status and its association with quality of life among people living with HIV attending public anti-retroviral therapy sites of kathmandu valley, nepal. AIDS Research and Therapy, 12(1) doi:10.1186/s12981-015-0056-9
Background: Little evidence exists on the connections between nutrition, diet intake, and quality of life (QoL) among people living with HIV (PLHIV). The study aimed to estimate the prevalence of under-nutrition among PLHIV in Nepal, and identify risk factors and assess correlations with PLHIVs' QoL and nutritional status. Methods: This quantitative cross-sectional study used Body Mass Index (BMI) as an indicator for nutritional status, and additional information on opportunistic infections (OIs), CD4 count, and World Health Organization (WHO) clinical staging was collected from medical records. Participants were asked to complete surveys on food security and QoL. Descriptive analysis was used to estimate the prevalence of under nutrition. To assess associations between nutrition status and independent variables, bivariate and multivariate analysis was completed. Spearman's rank correlation test was used to assess the association between nutritional status and QoL. Results: One in five PLHIVs was found to be under nourished (BMI <18.5 kg/m2). Illiteracy, residence in care homes, CD4 cells count <350 cells/mm3, OIs, and illness at WHO clinical stages III and IV were found to be significant predictors of under nutrition. BMI was significantly correlated with three domains of QoL (psychological, social and environmental). Conclusion: Nutrition interventions should form an integral part of HIV care programs. Understanding the presence of OI, decline in CD4 count, and advancing WHO clinical stages as risk factors can be helpful in preventing under nutrition from developing. Longitudinal research is necessary to further explicate associations between nutritional status and QoL.