Modifying nutrition and lifestyle on HIV-infected patients slows down the rate of CD4 decline: a study from Cameroon

 

Could a nutrition and lifestyle intervention have an effect on immunological parameters in treatment-naive HIV patients? This is what a recently published study in the International Journal of Public Health sought to investigate. The authors conducted a cluster-randomized trial in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The experimental group underwent a 6 month intervention which consisted of 2 sessions of individual counseling, followed by 22 sessions of group counseling. The control group received usual care. The intervention consisted of four parts:

a) HIV and nutrition

b) HIV and hygiene

c) Coping with stigma and discrimination

d) Physical activity (lessons plus practical activities)

After the 6 month intervention was completed, there were refresher sessions for the next 24 months.
After the intervention, the drop in CD4 was 7.7% in the intervention group and 23% in the control group (p for difference between the groups 0.003). Additionally, 10% of the participants in the intervention group initiated ARV therapy at 6 months, compared to 35% of the participants in the control group (p<0.001).

It will be interesting to see the results after the 24 month follow-up!

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This study was conducted by Germaine N Nkengfack, Judith N. Torimiro, Jeanne Ngogang, Sylvia Binting, Stephanie Roll, Peter Tinnemann and Heike Englert

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