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Food insecurity, or self-reports of inadequate food access due to limited financial resources, remains prevalent among people living with HIV (PLHIV). We examined the impact of food insecurity on combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) adherence within an integrated care programme that provides services to PLHIV, including two meals per day.
Adjusted OR (aOR) were estimated by generalized estimating equations, quantifying the relationship between food insecurity (exposure) and cART adherence (outcome) with multivariable logistic regression.
We drew on survey data collected between February 2014 and March 2016 from the Dr. Peter Centre Study based in Vancouver, Canada.
The study included 116 PLHIV at baseline, with ninety-nine participants completing a 12-month follow-up interview. The median (quartile 1–quartile 3) age was 46 (39–52) years at baseline and 87 % (n 101) were biologically male at birth.
At baseline, 74 % (n 86) of participants were food insecure (≥2 affirmative responses on Health Canada’s Household Food Security Survey Module) and 67 % (n 78) were adherent to cART ≥95 % of the time. In the adjusted regression analysis, food insecurity was associated with suboptimal cART adherence (aOR = 0·47, 95 % CI 0·24, 0·93).
While food provision may reduce some health-related harms, there remains a relationship between this prevalent experience and suboptimal cART adherence in this integrated care programme. Future studies that elucidate strategies to mitigate food insecurity and its effects on cART adherence among PLHIV in this setting and in other similar environments are necessary.