Assessing the nutritional and health status of people living with HIV/AIDS in the Eastern Region of Ghana

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June, 2019
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Globally about 36.9 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is responsible for more than 940,000 deaths. Most of these deaths are related to malnutrition. Cross-Sectional study design was used to assess the nutritional and health status of people living with HIV/AIDS (18-60) years. Purposive and convenience sampling were used to select four (4) hospitals and two hundred (200) people living with HIV/AIDS in the Eastern Region of Ghana. A structuredquestionnaire was used to collect data of participants and their anthropometrics, food frequency, 24-hour dietary intake, full blood count, and viral load were assessed. The prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity (using body mass index) were 17% and 37% respectively. Most respondents’ had adequate intakes of phosphorus (70.5%), inadequate intakes of calcium (95%), vitamin E (77.5%), vitamin A (94%), and excess intakes of sodium (93%), selenium (77%), copper (83.5%), and manganese (76%). The respondents’ daily intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes, and animal foods were 10.1%, 26.2%, 2.5%, and 7.3% respectively. The study found 20% of respondents on antiretroviral treatment with high/unsuppressed viral load (≥1000cp/mL) and about 87% of respondents with high monocytes (≥10%). The current mean monocytes (15.45+2.23)% was significantly different from the previous mean monocytes (within 6months prior to study)(8.13+6.26)% (p=0.0478). About 38%, 88%, 66% and 69% respectively of respondents had low haemoglobin (Hb <11g/dL), red blood cell (RBC<4.5 x1012/μL), haematocrit (Hct <37%), and mean platelet volume (MPV<9.5%). The study found no significant association between nutrient intakes of study subjects and biochemical/haematological parameters. There was also no significant association between anthropometric measures and biochemical/haematological parameters. In conclusion, a significant proportion of people living with HIV/AIDS had high prevalence of underweight and overweight/obesity, inadequate nutrients intakes, and high viral load.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, College of Science in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy degree in HUMAN NUTRITION AND DIETETICS.