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Changes in eligibility for specialised food for HIV positive adults

The US government HIV/AIDS office on the use of food in programming with PEPFAR (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief) has changed policy with regard to food and nutrition programming.

This policy change relates to adult patients who are enrolled in Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) and care programmes. Effective immediately, U.S. Government Emergency Plan country teams may provide food support to patients in ART and care programmes with a Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 18.5 (previously the criteria was <16.0). Supplementary feeding support should cease once the patient's BMI stabilises above 18.5 (e.g. two consecutive months greater than 18.5).

Policy guidance recommends that U.S. Government Emergency Plan country teams need to determine funding allocated for this relative to other priorities. These include food and livelihoods support to orphans and vulnerable children and to HIV-positive pregnant and lactating women. The guidance also recommends involving other resources and linkages with longer-term food-security activities.

U.S. Government Emergency Plan country teams that choose to elevate the BMI entry criterion for programme intervention should consider current models, such as the Kenya National Food by Prescription Programme, in their programme design.

The new authorisation is likely to increase substantially overall resource levels with increases expected for the use of therapeutic food in special cases.

For further information, contact Tim Quick, email: tquick@usaid.gov and Dana DeRuiter, email: deruiterdm@state.gov from the Food and Nutrition Technical Working Group, USAID.

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Reference this page

Changes in eligibility for specialised food for HIV positive adults. Field Exchange 32, January 2008. p19. www.ennonline.net/fex/32/changes