Nutritional Status of HIV-infected Adolescents Enrolled into an HIV-care Program in Urban and Rural Uganda: A Cross-sectional Study
Wanyenze, Rhoda K.
Matovu, Joseph K. B.
Orach, Christopher G.
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Malnutrition is a major threat to the health of HIV infected individuals and is associated with increased risks of morbidity and mortality. We assessed the nutritional status of HIV-infected adolescents enrolled into HIV care program in Uganda. We carried out across-sectional study. Data were collected on 205 adolescents aged 10-19 years attending The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) HIV care services in Uganda. All adolescents attending an adolescent clinic day in the respective TASO centers were enrolled into the study. Nutritional status was assessed using BMI-for-Age (BAZ) and Height-for-age (HAZ) as measures of thinness and stunting respectively. Standard deviation (SD) scores (Z scores) were applied to determine the nutritional status. Adolescents whose BAZ and HAZ was ≤-3SD were considered severely undernourished; those ≤-2SD were considered malnourished while those > -2SD were well-nourished. Statistical analysis was done using STATA statistical software package. The prevalence of stunting was 36.2% (72/199) with 11.1% (22/199) of adolescents being severely stunted. The risk factors for stunting included being male (AOR: 4.0; 95% CI: 1.81- 7.02) and residence in rural settings (AOR: 6.0; 95% CI 2.70-12.16). Eighteen percent of the adolescents (36/200) were thin, 8% (16/200) being severely thin. The prevalence of stunting and thinness was high among the HIV infected adolescents. Male adolescents and residing in rural settings are important risk factors of malnutrition among the HIV infected adolescents. There is need for development of comprehensive care and support systems including adequate nutritional care and support for HIV infected adolescents.
- School of Medicine 
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