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Reminder: Call for stories on food and HIV

27. October 2010

    Food security, that is vital for all, has a particular significance for people living with HIV. An adequate diet can help them stay healthy and reduce their vulnerability to AIDS-related diseases. Without adequate food, an individual's response to antiretrovirals (ARVs) can be undermined; the frequency of opportunistic infections increases; and the progression of AIDS-related illnesses hastens. Providing medicine alone, therefore, is not enough - adequate food and nutrition are essential elements of HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

    HIV also has an impact on food security. At the household level, AIDS-related diseases can limit people's energy levels and ability to work and earn money to buy food. Time and household resources, particularly those of women, are also consumed by caring for sick family members. At the community level, HIV and AIDS reduce the number of productive people in the labor force and limit agricultural output, further reducing food security. Social exclusion and discrimination also increase the vulnerability of people affected by HIV and AIDS to hunger.

    These cyclical linkages call for comprehensive approaches to both ensuring food security for all and to achieving universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support.

    What can you do?

    "The ARV treatment makes me very hungry and the doctor says I need to maintain a proper diet and have nutritious food. But how can I myself eat when I can't even manage two meals a day for my children? Moreover, I have to walk to Mangalsen to fetch the medicine, because I can't afford to travel in a vehicle. The walk takes about three days," Jhupri B.K explains. (Story submitted by Salla Matilainen from Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission)

    This story is being used as part of the liturgy for the 2010 World AIDS Day: http://bit.ly/9YKrRk

    Please join the Alliance to advocate for access to food and universal access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support by:
    1. Sharing stories you know of using the template below to provide either:

    • A brief description of cases/stories  that illustrate how people living with HIV make decisions regarding their intake of ARVs or;
    • An example of how food insecurity makes people vulnerable to HIV.

    2. Please share this call with your partners and networks and encourage their participation.

    The case studies will result in an EAA publication compiling all the stories and a number of recommendations to national governments and international institutions. The compiled report will be shared through the EAA website.


    Please submit stories and case studies before 26 November 2010 to amunzara@e-alliance.ch and copy to rfoley@e-alliance.ch.

    Please visit http://www.e-alliance.ch/en/s/food/food-and-hiv/  for more information on the collection of case studies/stories.

    Illustrating the Links between Food and HIV:

    Call for Stories of How Access to Food Contributes to Decisions Regarding Comprehensive Treatment of HIV

    Remark: The approximate size of the expected reply is indicated for each question. You may add appendices, and refer to them in this form. This form, once filled in, should not exceed five pages. We appreciate your understanding. Please fill in one form per case. Visual evidence (graphs, statistics, and pictures) is appreciated. You are free to narrate a story but the description should include the following elements:

    Contact name




    Phone number


    Fax number


    E-mail address




    Region/District within country


    Title of the case/story



    (Erase to keep only the three keywords that best describe your case)

    Nutritious food, social security nets, consumption needs, lack of access to land, delays in farming operations, declines in production,  food aid and distribution, opportunistic infections, access to treatment, credit facilities, others (please add)

    Summary of the case/story

    ½ a page-summarize the problem/case here


    ½ a page - assess the food security situation in your country, and how people living with HIV are affected. 

    Context Analysis

    ½ a page [Give a brief review of national food security strategies and nutritional policies on food security in your country.  Highlight any existing social safety nets for ensuring food security of people living with HIV]

    Body of the Case Study/Story

    1 ½pages: [The body should address how people make decisions regarding antiretroviral drugs intake. For example, you could highlight a story of how the food crisis in your country impacts on people living with HIV,  how you or someone you know has accessed or struggled to access comprehensive HIV treatment or how a lack of access to food has increased vulnerability to HIV.] Please try to answer the following questions, where applicable:

    i) To what extent does food consumption influence the successful intake of ARVs?

    ii) What are the effects of taking ARVs without food?

    iii) Describe the type of food that goes with the successful intake of ARVs?

    iv) How does a lack of food make people more vulnerable to HIV?

    v) How has HIV and AIDS affected people's ability to grow and produce food?

    Visual evidence (graphs, statistics, and pictures) is appreciated.


    1 page: Highlight clear action points to be undertaken to address the problem/protect the right to food of people living with HIV. Also identify the role of the church in supporting the food security needs of people living with HIV.


    Please list any documents that you attach to this form.

The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance is a broad international network of churches and Christian organizations cooperating in advocacy on food and HIV and AIDS. The Alliance is based in Geneva, Switzerland. For more information, see http://www.e-alliance.ch/

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HIV and AIDS Campaign
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