Open Access Open Badges Research

Food insecurity and associated factors among HIV-infected individuals receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy in Jimma zone Southwest Ethiopia

Ayele Tiyou1*, Tefera Belachew2, Fisehaye Alemseged3 and Sibhatu Biadgilign4

Author Affiliations

1 Jimma University, Public Health Faculty, P.O.Box 170998, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

2 Professor of Human Nutrition, Head Research and Publication Office, Jimma University, P.O.Box: 1104, Jimma, Ethiopia

3 Assistant professor of Epidemiology, Department of Epidemiology, Jimma University, P.O.Box: 1104, Jimma, Ethiopia

4 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Jimma University, College of Public Health and Medical Science, P.O.Box 24414, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

For all author emails, please log on.

Nutrition Journal 2012, 11:51  doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-51

Published: 23 July 2012



In resource limited settings, many People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) lack access to sufficient quantities of nutritious foods, which poses additional challenges to the success of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Maintaining adequate food consumption and nutrient intake levels and meeting the special nutritional needs to cope up with the disease and the ART are critical for PLWHA to achieve the full benefit of such a treatment.


To determine the prevalence and correlates of food insecurity among HIV-infected individuals receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy in resource-limited settings.


A cross sectional study was carried out from January 1, 2009 to March 3, 2009 at ART clinic at Jimma University specialized hospital (JUSH) in Ethiopia. We used multivariable logistic regression model to compare independent risk factors by food insecurity status among 319 adult PLWHA (≥18 years) attending ART Clinic.


A total of 319 adult PLWHA participated in the study giving a response rate of 100%. Out of 319 PLWHA the largest numbers of participants, 46.4% were in the age group of 25-34 years. The overall 201(63.0%) PLWHA were food insecure. Educational status of elementary or lower [OR = 3.10 (95%CI; (1.68-5.71)], average family monthly income <100 USD [OR = 13.1 (95% CI; (4.29-40.0)] and lower food diversity [OR = 2.18 (95%CI; (1.21-3.99)] were significantly and independently associated with food insecurity.


Food insecurity is a significant problem among PLWHA on HAART. Lower educational status and low family income were the predictors of food insecurity. Food security interventions should be an integral component of HIV/AIDS care and support programs. Special attention need to be given to patients who have lower educational status and are members of households with low income.

Food insecurity; HAART; PLWHA; HIV/AIDS; Ethiopia