Food consumption patterns, diversity of food nutrients and mean nutrient intake in relation to HIV/AIDS status in Kisumu district Kenya

  • Agatha Christine Onyango
  • Mary Khakoni Walingo
  • Lucas Othuon


As the causes and consequences of the AIDS epidemic become clearer, so does the fundamental importance of food and nutritional security for HIV-affected individuals. Even as food insecurity remains a major problem in poor households, its effects are worsened in disease states like HIV infection. Food deficiency and nutritional inadequacy compromise an individual’s physical status and work capacity, and may also diminish their resource base and household provisioning. The prevalence of HIV and AIDS in Kenya threatens food production systems, which intensifies poverty, increases the nutritional implications for HIV-infected individuals, accelerates the rate of orphanhood beyond what existing social networks can cope with, and basically affects all indicators of socio-economic development in the country. This cross-sectional study sought to assess food and nutrient intake in HIV-affected versus non-HIV-affected households. Purposive sampling was used to select 160 households (77 HIV-affected households and 83 non-HIV-affected households) in Kisumu district, a lowland area along Lake Victoria. A consolidated questionnaire that included a food-frequency checklist and personal 24-hour dietary recall was used to gather information from 40 households. The data were analysed quantitatively; descriptive statistics were mainly measures of central tendency, and inferential statistics involved chi-square tests and independent τ-test samples. A table depicting food composition was used to compute the nutrient intake of each household. The findings reveal a significant relationship between a household’s HIV/AIDS status and nutrient intake.

Keywords: diet, food availability, food production, food security, households, nutritional status, sub-Saharan Africa

African Journal of AIDS Research 2009, 8(3): 359–366

Author Biographies

Agatha Christine Onyango
School of Public Health and Community Development, Maseno University, PO Box 333 , Maseno, Kenya
Mary Khakoni Walingo
School of Public Health and Community Development, Maseno University, PO Box 333 , Maseno, Kenya
Lucas Othuon
Department of Educational Psychology, Maseno University, Private Bag, Maseno, Kenya

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1608-5906
print ISSN: 1727-9445