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HIV / AIDS Stories

Stories about how WFP is assisting people with HIV and tuberculosis.

646792
06/29/2015 - 16:40
Nutrition, Responding to Emergencies, School Meals

1) Honduras: School Feeding Day


School Feeding Day is a national holiday in Honduras celebrated on the fourth Friday of every July. This holiday celebrates is the most successful social program in Honduras, the school feeding programme, which has benefits more than 1.4 million students. The holiday emphasises the importance of school meals and expands the reach of the program. Festivities include parades, soccer games, and school plays, attracting people of all ages to celebrate the importance of good nutrition and health.

2) Nicaragua: The Breast Feeding Festival


Diarrhea and pneumonia are the two main causes of infant mortality worldwide. Both sicknesses are preventable through breastfeeding. WFP, together with The Ministry of Health (MoH), organises a Breast Feeding Fair every August, which is the Breastfeeding Month in Nicaragua. During this fair, health units of the MoH provide orientation and education to pregnant women and those who are nursing their children. 

3) Bolivia: Soy And HIV Aids


Sixty-five percent of people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Bolivia receiving antiretroviral treatment are also plagued by food insecurity. In 2010, WFP started a project to distribute food baskets each month to approximately 650 people with HIV. Where does soy come into play? Soy was one of the food products included in the basket. Although soy has always been harvested in the country, it has never been part of the Bolivian diet. Incorporating soy as a source of protein helps HIV patients, individuals living with HIV/AIDS, reach a healthy weight and strengthen their immune system. Furthermore, this project also benefits the local economy where soy production occurs.

4) Ecuador: Electronic Transfer And Tracking System


In the same manner that modern digital technology has changed the world, using electronic transfer and tracking systems has revolutionised WFP’s cash and vouchers programme in Ecuador. Using WFP electronic cards, project participants can purchase nutritious, high-quality products at partner sales points. These cards can be remotely charged, eliminating the need for monthly distributions. This system allows WFP to monitor the types of food purchased in order to understand changes in dietary habits.

5) Dominican Republic: Micronutrient Powder


In the Dominican Republic, WFP works with local governments to successfully deliver micronutrient powder to 400,000 children between six and 59 months old, educate more than 2,100 health professionals and 1,324 community leaders, and reduce the prevalence of anemia by 50 percent in target provinces. The success of these interventions is a great example of how simple things such as communication and cooperation between institutions and beneficiaries can bring about big changes.

6) Guatemala: Enhancing Natural Resources Management


(Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime)
(If you can’t beat it, adapt to it) 

In many places in the world, the basic subsistence of smallholder farmers is afflicted by droughts and recurrent shocks. Back in 1991, the Guatemalan government and WFP began to help families adapt to changes in nature. Working through the food for assets modality, WFP provided the food while the government provided the technical assistance to help communities initiate water and soil conservation activities. By the time the project was completed and the initiative was left in the hands of the community, food production had increased by 300 percent. Currently, these communities are considered resilient: they have withstood major climatic events and improved their overall standard of living. 

7) Panama: National Bio Fortification Project 


There’s a common belief that malnutrition and hunger are the same, yet in reality they are not. Many people are malnourished, not because they are hungry but because their diet lacks nutrients. Biofortification is a strategy that uses conventional improvement techniques to cultivate crops of higher nutritional value. It can combat food insecurity and nutritional deficiencies without altering consumption habits. Studies have found that biofortified foods do not taste any different from the conventional varieties, further proving the initiative’s potential. In Panama, sustainable local production, consumption, and marketing of biofortified crops are currently being promoted in rural areas by the Agricultural Investigation Institute with technical support provide by the WFP. 

In this ever-evolving environment, creativity and innovation are key to changing the world. Committed to eliminating hunger within our lifetimes, the World Food Programme (WFP) continuously strives to innovate and seek out creative ideas to fight hunger and improve worldwide nutrition. Our ideas can range from Breast Feeding Festivals to biofortication projects. Read on and discover the seven unconventional ways that the WFP is making hunger history in Latin America. 

644225
11/28/2014 - 12:26
Fight Against HIV/AIDS

BISHOFTU -- Thirty-two year-old Almaz has not had an easy life. She had her first child at 14, and when she learned that she was HIV positive eight years ago, her husband did not accept it and refused to be tested himself.  As a result Almaz did not take any antiretroviral therapy for several years.

“At some point my husband got so sick and later died, so I had to think about how to take care of the family. I went to Bishoftu hospital and got counselling there and started receiving medicines and food”, explained Almaz.

Through the PEPFAR/USAID-funded WFP programme, patients receive food assistance by means of vouchers that they can redeem in shops while they are following their antiretroviral treatment (ART). As with any drug, antiretrovirals are more effective when people are adequately nourished. Food support can play an important role in ensuring that people who lack food benefit fully from their treatment, giving them a brighter future. Malnourished people living with HIV on ART will receive nutritional support for a maximum of six months. Once they have nutritionally recovered and stabilized, the beneficiaries are discharged from the activity.

The second part of the programme consists of small sessions to learn business skills and generating income activities.

Almaz cooking flatbread in Ethiopia

 “I did not really realize that I could make a business out of selling injera (flatbread)”, said 42-year-old Ayelech, who is also enrolled in the same programme.  

“I was waiting for a hopeless life when I was sick, I was waiting for death, I survived thanks to this but it also relieved stress from my daily life especially for helping my children, I can pay for their school fees and expenses,” she said while explaining the benefits of the programme.

One of the things the participants are taught is to go into their community to identify affordable businesses and whether there is a market for them.

Every day Ayelech sells 80 pieces of injera at 3 Ethiopian birr per piece, which makes her around US$12 per day. Every month she is able to save about US$7, of which she gives US$2 to a savings group set up with other members of the programme.

She has also diversified her business, selling goats during the festive season and doing sewing, using a machine that she bought with her savings.

"The health office and WFP changed the direction of my life"

Today more than 190,000 people are enrolled in the WFP HIV/AIDS assistance programme in eighty towns across Ethiopia. Not only has the food support contributed to improved health but it has also helped school attendance for children and reduced the risk of transmission of the virus from mothers to babies. Food assistance for pregnant women is conditional to a checkup at the clinic every quarter, and delivery must either be in a health facility or at home assisted by a skilled birth attendant. As a result, 100 percent of the babies delivered in Bishoftu health facilities who were born to mothers enrolled for food assistance were HIV negative. Food support also given to orphaned and vulnerable children is conditional to their school attendance.

“The health office and WFP changed the direction of my life. I now live with hope with my four children; sometimes I even forget about my status!” said Almaz, laughing, as her children look at her with admiration.

Today about 700,000 people are living with HIV in Ethiopia.  Thanks to the government policy that declared HIV an emergency in 1998 and successive critical strategies for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support , Ethiopia is now one of the sub-Saharan countries demonstrating more than a 25 percent decline in new HIV infections. 

In 2011, WFP received its largest contribution from the United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), US$56 million for a five-year programme in Ethiopia.  Although WFP had been assisting people living with HIV/AIDS in Ethiopia since 2003, the PEPFAR contribution enabled a new dimension of assistance, where people are now provided with the ability to address their households’ food and nutrition requirements and send their kids to school.  Two women reflect on the impact that this generous donation has had on their lives.

642401
07/22/2014 - 12:15
Fight Against HIV/AIDS

The equipment, valued at US$26,000, will be used at Nhlangano Health Centre in southern Swaziland as part of the Ministry of Health’s Health Management Information System (HMIS) initiative to collect patient health data electronically.

The equipment was handed over to the centre in a ceremony led by Swaziland’s Minister of Health Sibongile Simelane and WFP Country Director Heather Hill.

“We’re grateful to be a recipient of computer equipment that will play a useful function of strengthening and streamlining the collection, storage and reporting of health data, particularly on nutrition,” said Minister Simelane.

Hill paid tribute to the commitment of the Minister and health centre staff to introducing innovative solutions and delivering high quality health services to their patients.

Minister Simelane launched the computers and equipment with the click of a mouse, while local Member of Parliament Mthokozisi Kunene, a self-described “computer wizard”, gave her a virtual tour of the new software.

Following the launch, the Minister toured the centre, meeting patients and medical staff. She discussed patient’s concerns and ways to make the facility more efficient and patient-friendly. 

The programme, developed by HMIS, creates unique patient identifiers to quickly locate patient data. Two other clinics in the region will benefit from donated data cabling to create much-needed wired and WiFi networks to connect them to the health centre.

In the fight against HIV and TB, rapidly determining whether a patient is accessing the health care and nutrition services prescribed is vital to successful treatment. In rural Swaziland, with few digital health systems available, this process slows, as health care providers struggle to track patient care accurately.

WFP’s Food by Prescription programme last year delivered nutrition counselling and food to some 26,000 malnourished people on antiretroviral therapy and TB treatment and their families at 12 clinics and hospitals nationwide.  Funding for HMIS strengthening was provided by UNAIDS.

For more information on the handover, see article in the Swazi Observer.

Nhlangano – The UN World Food Programme and the Ministry of Health brought the information age to the main health centre of this ruggedly beautiful corner of Swaziland with a donation of state-of-the-art computers and IT equipment in July this year.

642266
07/11/2014 - 12:40
Nutrition

In a country where 72 percent of the population lives below the poverty line and nearly 15 percent of adults live with HIV, attaining stable employment and food security presents a real challenge for many people.

Diagnosed with HIV years ago, Robson Madoka understands this all too well. His status cast a dark cloud over every aspect of his life – affecting not only him but his entire family.

“I became too weak to pick vegetables from our garden or to find casual labour like I used to,” explains Robson. “Our two sons had to drop out of school because we couldn’t afford to pay the fees.”

The anti-retroviral treatment he was receiving was not as effective as might have been hoped. This was mainly because of Robson’s poor diet. Adequate nutrition is essential for successful treatment and the first line of defense in fighting the disease.

Complete savior

Things took a turn for the better when he signed up for WFP’s Health and Nutrition programme at the Epworth Poly-Clinic in Harare. Robson began receiving monthly allotments of nutritional supplements and electronic vouchers to purchase staple foods for himself and his family, as well as US$5 cash for other purchases.

“I really should have died a long time ago were it not for this support,” says Robson. “WFP has been a complete saviour for me and my family.”

The programme’s electronic voucher system, using mobile phones, allows Robson to receive this support without exposing himself to the stigma that might come from standing in line to receive food in front of other health clinic clients.

Funding constraintsRobson Madoka picking vegetables

As the only safety net for moderately malnourished adults in Zimbabwe, WFP’s programme also strives to incorporate sustainable solutions. Through its collaboration with NGO partner ADRA, WFP integrates able-bodied former recipients of food assistance into self-sufficient livelihood projects such as community gardens.

Thanks to the valuable support of countries such as Switzerland, WFP’s assistance allows people to overcome the downward spiral linked to poverty, poor health, and food insecurity. For the first time in eight years, however, rations for health and nutrition activities have had to be reduced as a result of funding constraints. To ensure that sufficient support is available to those who are most in need, additional funding is urgently required.

When you’re in good health and have ready access to food, you tend not to give it much thought. But when you don’t, then you realize you’re in trouble – and the worry can consume you. Through WFP’s Health and Nutrition programme, thousands of families are once again able to start living without constantly worrying about these basics.

640869
03/31/2014 - 15:21
Fight Against HIV/AIDS

On a good day, Netsai Madzima used to have one meal but often she would take nothing at all so the children could have enough to eat. For her, surviving on just one meal a day was tough but it was the hungry crying of her orphaned five-month old granddaughter, Kudakwashe, that troubled her the most. HIV-positive Kudakwashe was losing a lot of weight. This prompted nurses at the local clinic to refer her to WFP for assistance. Two months after enrolment, things are looking better for both Netsai and the baby.

Kudakwashe‘s mother died from an HIV related illness days after giving birth, leaving the baby in the care of her elderly mother – who already takes care of seven other orphaned children. It is easy to see why the child was christened Kudakwashe – Shona for God’s will.

“It’s just about surviving day by day,” says the 56-year old grandmother. “What can I do if that is what the Lord has chosen?”

“There are many in Netsai’s position,” says WFP Country Director Sory Ouane. “Without the means to take care of themselves, the elderly often find themselves having to fend for others in the extended family.”

Monthly household ration

Under the nutritional support programme implemented by WFP through local aid organisations and the Ministry of Health and Child Care, clients visit local clinics and hosptials for assessment. Those found to be malnourished are referred to WFP and receive Super Cereal, a nutritious fortified blend of maize meal, soya protein and micronutrients. They also get a monthly household ration of maize meal, vegetable oil and pulses. In rural areas, the actual commodities are given whilst in Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru, which have functioning markets, assistance is provided by way of vouchers. These entitle clients to rations of commodities such as oil and beans at selected supermarkets (they also get $US5 ‘cash back’).

Full treatment success

Good nutrition is essential in protecting people living with HIV. When people living with HIV are malnourished the risk of death increases significantly. Food assistance not only increases the effectiveness of anti-retroviral treatment but also helps ensure greater adherence to treatment regimens. In 2013, 99 percent of all TB clients receiving nutrition support achieved full treatment success. Some 96 percent of clients receiving a combination of anti-retroviral treatment and WFP nutritional support adhered to their treatment.

Harare – WFP is providing nutritional support to malnourished children under five years of age, to pregnant and nursing women, and to food-insecure households with chronically-ill members. This is the story of the support being given to one family in Zimbabwe.

639579
01/19/2014 - 23:41
Fight Against HIV/AIDS

CONAKRY – Djamilatou lives in the suburbs of Conakry, the capital of Guinea. Every week, the 34-year-old mother comes to the Dream Center -- a walk-in clinic that supports HIV patients with treatment, advice and, thanks to WFP, with nutritious food. When the woman starts to tell her story, she seems very shy, but as soon as she starts talking about her two healthy children, you can see how much energy and hope she has.     

It was during her first pregnancy that Djamilatou discovered she was HIV positive. "I went to the hospital, because I always felt sick," she says. After some tests, the doctor gave her the news. “At first, I really couldn’t believe it. It was a huge shock. I had never ever considered that HIV could affect me.”            

A friend advised Djamilatou to go to the Dream Center and she says that this advice changed her life. "Before I came here, I had lost a lot of weight and strength. I would have never had the money to buy all the medicine for the treatment.” But the most important thing for her was the support and advice she received to help her through her complicated pregnancy and the birth of her child by caesarian. “I am very thankful that both of my children are healthy. My son Alpha is 3 years old and my little daughter Mariama just turned 5 months. At the center, I also receive nutrition education to make sure that she grows up healthy and strong.”

Return to work

Since Djamilatou has been coming to the center for two years, her nutritional status is stable, as is her health. “For the moment I need some time to recover from the birth of Mariama, but as soon as the wound of the caesarian is healed I want to start working again to support my family.” For her the Dream Center is not only a place where she receives treatment and nutrition, it is a place that gives her hope. “There are other centers closer to my place, but I want to come here. Here I feel good.”

Djamilatou holding her baby at the desk of the nutrition centerFatoumata Sylla, coordinator of the center, says: “The social side of the weekly food rations is really important: for some patients they are one of main reasons for coming regularly to the center. This gives us the chance to build a stable relationship with our patients.” In addition, the nutrition support provided by WFP has a special impact on the progress of the treatment.

Nutrition needs

“The nutritional needs of people living with HIV are higher because of their weakened immune system,” explains Fatoumata. “We can improve the effectiveness of our treatment when we supply the patients not only with medication, but also with nutritious food.

Like Djamilatou, over 650 other patients living with HIV receive treatment at the Dream Center, every month. WFP provides them with Supercereal + sugar (CSB+), a specialized micronutrient vitamin and mineral mix that helps HIV patients to improve their nutritional status in a short period. The amount of the CSB+ rations depends on the body mass index (BMI) of each patient. In addition, WFP also supports family members of HIV patients. Because they are especially food insecure, they receive rations of rice and oil fortified with vitamin A and D.

Proper nutrition helps protect the lives and livelihoods of people living with HIV. Learn more at wfp.org/hiv-aids

While she was pregnant with her first child, Djamilatou was told she was HIV positive. It was a huge shock and it left her reeling. But a friend advised her to go to a WFP-supported clinic and, as a result of following that advice, she now has two healthy children and is preparing for a return to the world of work. 

639409
12/19/2013 - 20:59
Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Christine is in her mid-fifties and lives in south-western Burkina Faso. Few of her friends and family know that she is infected with HIV. She takes great pride in wearing bright, colourful outfits sewn from pagne fabric.

"I'm lucky," says Christine (not her real name). "I’m well-fed, just as an African mother is supposed to be!"

Getting treatment

While she exudes positivity, Christine's lot has not been easy. In 2009, she fell ill and lost a lot of weight. When she finally contacted the local health centre, she was informed of her HIV status and began treatment.

WFP provides maize, beans, oil and a fortified blend of corn and soya to 12,000 people living with HIV, as well as to children orphaned by AIDS in the areas of Burkina Faso most affected by the disease. With treatment and WFP’s support, Christine was able to regain her strength and start rebuilding her health and life.

A new business

In addition to providing food rations, WFP partners with non-governmental organisations to help beneficiaries start their own income-generating activities. Following training, Christine was given the opportunity to open her own business and was given a loan to buy her first batch of pagne. This opportunity would change Christine's life. In just one year she was able to earn enough to pay off her debts and start saving money of her own.

"WFP has made it possible for me to give food to my family and children,” she explains. “It makes me happy to see my children eat and thrive, and this gives me peace to sleep at night."

Supporting families

Households affected by HIV are especially vulnerable. Christine looks after six children orphaned by AIDS of family and friends who have died, in addition to her own 10 children.

Thanks to WFP, she is able to take care of her extended family, and they all benefit from group discussions and courses on how to prevent HIV and AIDS. To this day, none of Christine's children is infected with the virus.

Huge progress has been made in recent years in reducing the HIV epidemic in Burkina Faso where the prevalence has dropped from around 7 percent in the late 1990s to around 1 percent today. Many thousands, however, are still infected every year. Through WFP assistance, they are given a chance to regain their health and create sustainable livelihoods for themselves, their families and children.

WFP supports more than 12,000 people affected by HIV in Burkina Faso. In addition to providing nutritional support, WFP helps them start their own businesses so they can sustain themselves and their families.

636344
12/13/2013 - 11:30
Aid professionals, Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Much of the discussion at the 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA) has applauded the unprecedented results achieved in prevention and treatment of HIV. Also highlighted at the event held in Cape Town, South Africa, in December have been the additional steps needed to achieve the goal of zero new HIV infections.

As one of 11 co-sponsors of UNAIDS, the UN World Food Programme plays a lead role in providing food and nutrition support to affected populations.
Recent studies show that early access to anti-retoviral treatment (ART) not only prevents HIV-positive people from dying but helps curb the spread of the virus. Proper food and nutrition play an essential role in this equation by keeping people living with HIV (PLHIV) people healthy for longer and improving the effectiveness of their treatment.

However, populations affected by emergencies such as the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo face additional barriers to accessing life-saving ART and other HIV-related support services. In the DRC, where the medical services have been severely disrupted, 51% of PLHIV initiating ART are malnourished.
 
“A WFP survey found that PLHIV reported that they did not have enough to eat a third of the time,” explained WFP Programme Officer in DRC, Patrice Badibanga.
Delivering ART and nutrition support together is an essential response as it has been shown that mortality can be two to six times higher among malnourished patients in the first six months after beginning treatment.

That is why, under the triple burden of HIV, conflict and food insecurity, WFP is ensuring the people living with HIV have access to essential food and nutrition support.

WFP’s nutrition and HIV programmes in DRC help 93 percent of ART patients adhere to the recommended medical regimes – a significant increase over the 79 percent national average. Furthermore, a study has shown that after six months of WFP support, the nutritional status of assisted patients improves dramatically.

“Access to nutrition is limited in emergencies”, said Dr. Esterina Novello Nyilok, Chairperson of the South Sudan HIV and AIDS Commission.“Lack of nutrition can push people living with HIV into more complications with mal-adherence to ART and malnutrition and can result in a medical crisis.”
 
Dr. Novello Nyilok reminded those at the HIV in Emergencies session that when talking about vulnerable groups affected by HIV, “populations in emergency settings are the most neglected group.”

For people living with HIV in poor countries, there are already many barriers to accessing life-saving medication and also to the nutritional food that will help the treatment work. But for populations affected by emergencies, such as the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it's even harder. This was one of the messages that emerged at the ICASA conference in Cape Town this week. WFP's Natalie Aldern was there and shares her read-out here.

626330
12/02/2013 - 14:48
Fight Against HIV/AIDS

WAU – Sitting in the shade of a mango tree in her yard in Wau, the capital of South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal state, Monica Julio remembers how weak and frail she felt when she started anti-retroviral treatment (ART).

People living with HIV have weakened immune systems and increased nutritional needs. Because of this, they may not be able to sustain their strength during ART if they do not eat well. Luckily, Julio received food assistance from WFP to keep her healthy as she battled the virus.

“If it was not for WFP food, we would not have stuck to the treatment plan and medication, and been healthy enough to speak openly about HIV/AIDS,” said Julio, who is separated from her husband.

“You see a big difference in people before and after they start receiving WFP support. People become strong and gain weight … Now I weigh 80.6 kilogrammes. We only have words of thanks to WFP as the number of deaths among our group is now less than before,” she added.

In South Sudan, HIV is a contributing factor in chronic illnesses amongst communities with little knowledge of prevention and limited access to testing and treatment. WFP provides food and nutrition assistance to food-insecure, HIV-affected households, providing a safety net for people who might otherwise be unable to meet their immediate food needs.

Close to 25,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, and their families, have received monthly rations of cereals, pulses, specialised nutritious food (super cereal), vegetable oil, sugar and salt from WFP in South Sudan this year.

“Food and nutrition support is an essential part of any comprehensive HIV treatment and care package. Our assistance to persons living with HIV helps lessen the burden of the disease on poor and vulnerable communities in this country,” said Eddie Rowe, WFP’s Deputy Country Director for South Sudan.

An Inspiration

In addition to distributing food assistance, WFP works with its partners - including several associations of people living with HIV across South Sudan - to facilitate workshops that offer information on food and nutrition, basic facts about living with HIV as well as advice on tackling discrimination and stigma associated with HIV/AIDS.

If people living with HIV are well nourished and look healthy, rather than emaciated, this can help to combat stereotypes, and may even encourage other people living with the disease to seek treatment.

“More people are now going to centres, which offer voluntary testing and counselling because of our activities,” said Julio, who is a founding member of an association of persons living with HIV/AIDS in Wau.

Her group carries out awareness campaigns, group counselling sessions and home care visits for the sick and their families. The members have also organized income-generating activities, such as making traditional handicrafts or farming small plots, to be able to guarantee their own supply of food.

Julio, who works as a messenger in the State Ministry of Finance, supplements her small salary by selling embroidered materials, and through farming. Thanks to WFP’s food assistance, she was healthy and strong enough to branch out into these activities.

“With my improved health, I was able to cultivate a small farm from which I got nine bags of groundnuts last year,” Julio said. She also displayed an embroidered lavender tablecloth, which she planned to sell.

According to the Joint UN Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), an estimated 150,000 people were living with HIV in South Sudan in 2012. However, infection rates could actually be higher as no population-wide HIV survey has been carried out in the country.

Story by: James Onesimo and George Fominyen, WFP South Sudan 

 

Twelve years have passed since doctors told Monica Julio that she had HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. The mother-of-six is now a busy and valuable member of her community in South Sudan, and she attributes this to food assistance provided by the World Food Programme (WFP), which allowed her to stick to her treatment and inspire others to do the same.

623274
11/29/2013 - 21:10
Fight Against HIV/AIDS

Gonaives- Every day is a busy day at the Hôpital de la Providence des Gonaives- one of the larger facilities in the populous and poor Artibonite region in the centre of Haiti. This hospital is also one of many across the country where HIV/AIDS patients receive 50 kg of take home family rations from WFP to keep themselves and their families fed and healthy as they begin antiretroviral treatment. 

Among the flocks of patients and family members lined up outside clinic doors to receive medicine and test results, the coordinator of a hospital patient group is examining a workbook outside the stock room that contains the carefully handwritten names of all the patients who will receive food rations that day. A patient himself, he talks animatedly about the group that he works with and the benefits of the take-home family food rations. "Beginning the treatment can be difficult and the food provided by WFP means that the medicine will work more effectively. Not having to worry about providing for your family during this time is also crucial. It makes a huge difference to us", he says.

The number of people living with HIV/AIDS in Haiti is around 220.000 with the highest prevalence among women. In a population of just a little over 10 million this means that more than 2 people in every 100 are living with the HIV/AIDS and even more are indirectly affected by it. 

WFP gives take home rations to help people undergoing HIV/AIDS treatment improve their health but also to protect their dignity and their families. 

Access to proper nourishment is essential to increasing the effectiveness of anti-retroviral treatment. People living with HIV need more calories and nutrients in their diet because of their weakened immune systems and access to proper nourishment is essential to increasing the effectiveness of anti-retroviral treatment.

Side effects from the treatment can make it difficult and in some cases impossible to earn a living, which means that entire families can go hungry. Concern about providing for children, husbands or wives might lead to people foregoing the treatment to try and work or sell off their assets. 

WFP provided food rations to 12.450 patients and their families in 2013. Over the next three years WFP is planning to assist 180.000 HIV/AIDS patients and their families in Haiti. As an entirely self-funded organization, WFP relies on the generous support of its donors to make sure that people living with HIV do not have to choose between their family and their health. 

If you would like more information about WFP's work with HIV/AIDS click here

Many people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide are not able to get enough to eat. Health complications mean that many lose their jobs and their livelihoods are threatened. In Haiti, WFP plays a crucial role in protecting patients being treated for HIV/AIDS and their families by ensuring that the food they receive contributes to their health, safety and dignity.