WFP highlights importance of nutrition for people living with HIV

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The World Food Programme (WFP) on Thursday marked World AIDS Day with emphasis on the importance of providing food and nutrition assistance to people living with HIV and undergoing Antiretroviral Treatment (ART).

A statement issued to the Ghana News Agency said Mr Martin Bloem, WFP’s Chief Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Policy, said poor nutritional status and HIV could reinforce each other in a vicious circle.

The statement said WFP works with communities and health centres around the world to ensure that people affected by HIV and AIDS receive comprehensive support that nourishes and strengthens their bodies.

It said by providing the right food to vulnerable populations, WFP promotes good health for patients while protecting their families from the negative impacts of HIV.

The statement said in 2010, WFP supported 2.5 million people in 44 countries through its HIV and TB programmes, providing food and nutrition support to about 1.3 million people living with HIV and as part of their ART or TB Treatment another 1.2 million people affected by these diseases.

It said WFP is beginning a food assistance programme for people living with HIV and their households in the Eastern Region, which has the highest number of infections, adding that, similar programmes were started in the three northern regions earlier in February and in the Millennium Village Project in the Ashanti Region last year.

It said WFP provides support for the National HIV/AIDS Action Plan to help increase government ownership of food and nutrition assistance activities. It also advices and educates the masses on the treatment of people living with HIV and help prevent Mother-to-Child transmission. GNA

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