Feeding a HIV Positive Patient

Nutrition for Special Groups 3(3+0)

Lesson 48 : Hiv Aids

Feeding a HIV Positive Patient

Despite the existing anti retroviral therapy, cure for AIDS is not yet available. Antiretroviral therapy minimizes HIV replication. Along with this it is important to treat and eliminate secondary infections characteristic of AIDS when they occur. Because malnutrition imposes additional immunosuppressive burden on the already immuno compromised patients with HIV, it is important to treat malnutrition. Nutritional interventions must be individualized taking into consideration the stage of the infection, other opportunistic infections, type of treatment etc.

  • Document food intolerances
  • Modify diet to maximize oral intake.

When appetite is poor

  • Small frequent feedings
  • Calorie dense foods
  • Provide liquids 30 minutes before meals.
  • Avoid greasy or fatty foods.

Problems chewing/swallowing

  • Modify texure – liquid diets
  • High protein/ calorie diet
  • Oral liquid supplements

Oral / esophageal lesions

  • Avoid acidic / seasoned foods
  • Avoid extremes of temperature
  • Provide straws for drinking
  • Avoid dry foods

Diarrhoea / malabsorption

  • Decrease long chain triglycerides used MCTS
  • Limit cellulose type fibers. Use fibers like pectin, guargun etc
  • Low lactose diet
  • Limit intake of sorbitol
  • Avoid gas forming foods and carbonated beverages
  • Food safety precautions should be taken to prevent food borne infection.
  • Exteral feeding and parenteral feeding can be considered when oral intake is inadequate or not possible.
Last modified: Friday, 11 May 2012, 9:38 AM