WFP's Response to HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis


Proper nutrition is an essential means of protecting the lives and livelihoods of people living with HIV and/or Tuberculosis (TB). Improved food security also plays a critical role in helping to stop the spread of the epidemics.

HIV, TB, Food Insecurity & Malnutrition

The current state of HIV (UNAIDS 2012)
  • As of 2011, 34 million people live with HIV.
  • There were 2.5 million new HIV infections in 2011.
  • In 2011, 1.7 million people died of AIDS-related diseases, a 24% decline since 2005.
  • In 2011, 54% of all people eligible received HIV treatment.
  • International assistance for HIV declined remains stable at US$8.2 billion in 2011.

The HIV and TB epidemics are most prevalent in areas of widespread poverty and food insecurity, affecting populations with limited access to a healthy diet. Today, it is widely recognized that HIV, TB food insecurity and malnutrition are closely interlinked, forming a vicious cycle:

  • People living with HIV and/or (active) TB need more calories and nutrients in their diet, but they may also have lower appetites and be less able to absorb the nutrients in their food.
  • HIV and/or TB can affect the ability to earn a living, which decreases access to food and increases food insecurity.
  • Food insecurity can make it more difficult for people living with HIV and/or TB to adhere to treatment and can lead them to forgoing treatment, selling off assets or engaging in commercial or transactional sex, therefore increasing the likelihood of HIV transmission.
  • When people living with HIV and/or TB are malnourished, the risk of mortality and morbidity increases significantly.


WFP and TNT established North Star Alliance, an initiative that aims to reduce the impact of HIV and other sexually transmitted illnesses on the transport sector in Africa. Roadside Wellness Centres across southern and eastern Africa enhance the HIV response of national health care systems. Services reach truck drivers, sex workers, border officials, dock workers, police and transport communities. Watch video

WFP’s role in supporting the HIV  and TB response

In 2011, WFP reached 2.3 million people in 38 countries through its HIV and TB programmes.

WFP acknowledges the unique challenge of providing assistance in areas suffering from high HIV and/or TB prevalence, deep-rooted poverty & food insecurity and weakened governance systems.

In light of the existing challenges in the fight against HIV and/or TB, WFP is committed to maximizing the overall effectiveness of the global response.

WFP’s food and nutrition support plays a vital role in reducing the harmful effects of HIV, TB, food insecurity and malnutrition. It is an essential and cost-effective means of enabling treatment, reducing mortality, increasing adherence and promoting nutritional recovery. Food support also acts as a social safety net for food-insecure populations that have felt the negative socio-economic effects of HIV and/or TB.

Read the fact sheet to find out more about WFP's HIV, AIDS and TB activities.

WFP is a member of UNAIDS, joining other UN agencies to help prevent new HIV infections and provide treatment and support for people living with HIV. As a member of UNAIDS, WFP is responsible for integrating food and nutrition support into the HIV response. To read the UNAIDS 2012 World AIDS Day Report, click here.