Which dietary modifications are used in the treatment of HIV infection?

Updated: Apr 09, 2019
  • Author: Fazia Mir, MD; Chief Editor: Michael Stuart Bronze, MD  more...
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Oral supplements in the management of malnourished HIV prevented weight loss by increasing fat–free mass. [22, 23] The effect of combined oral nutritional supplements and nutritional counseling on whole-body protein metabolism was assessed and compared to control group; whole body protein catabolism measured by leucine oxidation rates were shown to be lesser, and a favorable change in body composition with increased lean body mass and decreased fat mass occurred in the intervention group compared to controls at 12 weeks. [24]

In patients with HIV infection and in the early stages of AIDS without a secondary infection, weight gain and/or maintenance has been shown to be achievable with a high-energy, high-protein diet (1.5 g/kg ideal body weight), including at least one oral liquid nutrition supplement in conjunction with nutrition counseling. [25] Patients who developed secondary infections in this study lost weight despite the use of supplements and counseling. [26]

Total parenteral nutrition and enteral feeding through percutaneous endoscopic gastrostostomy tube are options in advanced AIDS wasting not responding to medical nutrition therapy but have associated risks, and limited data exists in literature regarding its use in patients with HIV and AIDS.

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