Seventy-five HIV-seropositive, asymptomatic other than lymphadenopathy, homosexual males were studied to determine nutritional health beliefs and practices as well as general nutritional knowledge. A total of 80% of the participants reported dietary change at the time of, or subsequent to, HIV diagnosis. The most frequent dietary changes noted were decreased intake of animal products and alcohol in association with increased intake of vegetables, and seafood. The majority of participants (87%) indicated that vitamin and mineral supplements could favorably influence their immune function and thereby delay disease progression, with 59% reporting an increase in vitamins/mineral supplement consumption after HIV diagnosis. Regarding nutritional knowledge, 90% did not know the daily requirements for essential vitamins and minerals. Sources of nutritional information and counseling were most frequently provided by friends (75%) or newspapers/magazines (48%) and popular books (44%). Asymptomatic HIV-infected patients view nutritional issues as of key importance in maintaining their immune function. They frequently adopt strategies, however, based upon limited information and these strategies may at times, be ill-advised. Practitioners must work to provide the HIV-infected patient with information concerning basic nutritional needs as well as the most recent developments involving nutritional aspects of HIV infection.
- HIV Infection
- Nutritional Practices
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Nutrition and Dietetics