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To examine the availability of nutritional support services in HIV care and treatment sites across sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2008, we conducted a cross-sectional survey of sites providing antiretroviral therapy (ART) in nine sub-Saharan African countries. Outcomes included availability of: (i) nutritional counselling; (ii) micronutrient supplementation; (iii) treatment for severe malnutrition; and (iv) food rations. Associations with health system indicators were explored using bivariate and multivariate methods.
President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-supported HIV treatment and care sites across nine sub-Saharan African countries.
A total of 336 HIV care and treatment sites, serving 467 175 enrolled patients.
Of the sites under study, 303 (90 %) offered some form of nutritional support service. Nutritional counselling, micronutrient supplementation, treatment for severe acute malnutrition and food rations were available at 98 %, 64 %, 36 % and 31 % of sites, respectively. In multivariate analysis, secondary or tertiary care sites were more likely to offer nutritional counselling (adjusted OR (AOR): 2·2, 95 % CI 1·1, 4·5). Rural sites (AOR: 2·3, 95 % CI 1·4, 3·8) had increased odds of micronutrient supplementation availability. Sites providing ART for >2 years had higher odds of availability of treatment for severe malnutrition (AOR: 2·4, 95 % CI 1·4, 4·1). Sites providing ART for >2 years (AOR: 1·6, 95 % CI 1·3, 1·9) and rural sites (AOR: 2·4, 95 % CI 1·4, 4·4) had greater odds of food ration availability.
Availability of nutritional support services was high in this large sample of HIV care and treatment sites in sub-Saharan Africa. Further efforts are needed to determine the uptake, quality and effectiveness of these services and their impact on patient and programme outcomes.
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