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Knowledge and attitude to dietary requirements for people living with HIV/AIDS in rural communities of Benue State, Nigeria

U.N. Akwiwu
A.K. Orbunde
C. Onyegbula


Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection among rural dwellers still exists and has no known cure. Its preponderance and poor  management depletes the availability and quality of agricultural labour. The use of Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) for the management of  People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) has not significan tly reduced the consequences of infection, as the effort is compromised by  inadequate dietary intake. Previous studies have not sufficiently emphasised the adequacy of dietary information in the management of  PLWHA. Therefore, the knowledge and attitude towards dietary intake adequacy among PLWHA in rural communities of Benue State,  Nigeria, was investigated. A three-stage sampling technique was used in this study. Benue State was purposively selected as it is a highly  HIV prevalent State in Nigeria. Fifty percent (190) of members of the five rural support groups in Benue were randomly sampled for the  study. An interview schedule was used to elicit information on knowledge of Adequate Dietary Intake (ADI) (0-30), attitude to ADI  (20-100), and Dietary Intake Adequacy (DIA) (0-48). Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, Pearson product moment correlation  at 0.05 level of significance. Knowledge of ADI was 46.3%, while Attitude to ADI of 37.9% was favourable. Diet diversity score (4.1±1.3) was  low among the majority (64.7%) of the respondents, so dietary intake was considered inadequate. Extension agents in rural communities  should go beyond teaching farmers best farm practices to ensure healthy consumption of their produce.  

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eISSN: 2714-3147