Food Shortages in Lesotho Affecting HIV-Positive People

Published on 05 February 2009

IRIN/PlusNews on Tuesday examined the effect of Lesotho's food crisis on HIV-positive people in the country, many of whom are unable to obtain nutritious food. According to IRIN/PlusNews, Lesotho's food production has suffered in recent years from erratic weather, soil erosion and the burden of HIV/AIDS on the subsistence farming system. HIV-positive people need to consume 10% to 30% more calories than HIV-negative people, and people who take antiretroviral drugs on an empty stomach can feel sicker. In addition, the effectiveness of the medicine can be reduced without proper nutrition, IRIN/PlusNews reports. Matsepiso Lemphane, a nurse clinician at Liphiring Health Center, estimated that 80% of people with HIV at the clinic do not have enough food. A 2008 survey conducted in Lesotho's urban areas by the World Food Program found that 30.2% of urban households in Mohale's Hoek were highly food insecure.

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