Effects of nutrition counseling and monitoring on the weight and hemoglobin of patients receiving antiretroviral therapy in Ebonyi State, Southeast Nigeria
Chihurumnanya Alo, Lawrence U Ogbonnaya, Benedict N Azuogu
Department of Community Medicine, Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
Introduction: The relationship between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and malnutrition is easily explained, and the etiology of malnutrition in HIV disease is believed to be multifactorial. It therefore follows that ongoing assessment of nutritional and medical status is crucial to quality nutrition care for every person living with HIV. The aim of this study was to find out the effect of nutritional counseling and monitoring, using personalized dietary prescriptions, on the body mass index (BMI) and hemoglobin of patients who are HIV-infected and also receiving highly active antiretroviral drugs.
Methods: A total of 84 patients were selected using simple random sampling and allocated into intervention and control groups. Nutritional counseling and monitoring was done for the intervention group, while only weight, height, and hemoglobin concentration were monitored for the control group. At the end of 6 months, the differences in mean body mass index (BMI) and hemoglobin concentrations of the intervention and control groups were compared using the Student's t-test. Statistical level of significance was put at P<0.05.
Results: Among respondents, 30.96% were males and 69.04% were females, and the mean age of the intervention group was 33.8 years and was 35.3 in the control group. After 6 months of study, the difference in the mean BMI among the males of both groups (24.9 kg/m2 [intervention] and 24.3 kg/m2 [control]) was not significant (P=0.53) but was significant among the females (24.9 kg/m2 [intervention group] versus 21.8 kg/m2 [control group]) (P=0.0005). The difference in mean hemoglobin concentration between the intervention and control groups for both males and females were statistically significant (12.2 mg/dL for males in the intervention group and 11.0 mg/dL for males in the control group [P=0.005]; 11.9 mg/dL for females in the intervention group and 11.0 mg/dL for females in the control group [P=0.0108]).
Conclusion: Nutrition intervention is important in the management of people living with HIV/acquired immunodeficiency disease (AIDS) while on antiretroviral therapy. This can be achieved through nutritional counseling and monitoring.
Keywords: AIDS, hemoglobin, weight, HIV, BMI, counseling, intervention
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