Food challenges facing people living with HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe
This study explored the food challenges facing people living with HIV/AIDS in Tsholotsho, Zimbabwe. Tsholotsho is a socio-economically disadvantaged, rural district in Zimbabwe and has one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the country. For this study, face to face in-depth interviews were held with men and women living with HIV/AIDS. The findings of the study indicate that the economic situation in the country coupled with the lack of adequate rainfall has posed challenges to the ability of HIV/AIDS patients to maintain a healthy diet. In addition, there were concerns about the departure of non-government organisations which used to provide them with food parcels. The interviews also reveal that indigenous foods are being replaced by processed foods that are less healthy. Lack of employment opportunities and safety networks were some of the other factors leading them to experience food challenges in their everyday lives particularly in terms of access. As food security and good nutrition are key for maintaining physical and emotional health, the cumulative effects of these factors create a difficult environment to access food.
Keywords: AIDS treatment, food security, nutrition, Tsholotsho district