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of antiretroviral therapy and thus helps increase the chances that they will stick with the regimen.

“HIV attacks food security through many routes,” said Kadiyala. “It increases medical costs, it incurs stigma that makes it hard for people to access food through social networks, and it affects the next generation. Diet quality is a huge chal- lenge in the context of HIV.” As the links

between food security and HIV/AIDS became clearer, RENEWAL’s emphasis shifted toward reforming policies and programs to make them more effective.

Te results of the program’s work are increasingly visible at national and international levels. Kenya and Uganda now include food and nutrition security in their national AIDS strategic plans. Mozambique and Tanzania are imple- menting HIV/AIDS strategies for their agriculture sectors. And the World Health Organization has called for nutrition to be integrated into a comprehensive HIV/ AIDS response strategy.

Agriculture, like any sector, faces major challenges in responding to shocks and stresses that originate outside its core mandate, said Gillespie. But in the early 2000s, the primary livelihood for most people living with HIV in Sub-Saharan Africa was agriculture. People’s agricul- tural livelihoods generated risk and vul- nerability to HIV, and they were not well equipped to adapt to the sickness and death that AIDS brought in its wake. “Te more we engaged with this field, the more we realized it was not enough to bring an HIV awareness into agriculture and food systems,” said Gillespie. “We also needed to bring food and nutrition into HIV policy and programming—all buttons needed to be pressed.”


This farmer and her family, who are all HIV-positive, receive agricultural assistance to help ensure they have enough to eat.

© 2010 D. Telemans/Panos


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