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Sharmistha Bhattacherjee 1 Article
Food Security in Households of People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome: A Cross-sectional Study in a Subdivision of Darjeeling District, West Bengal
Pallabi Dasgupta, Sharmistha Bhattacherjee, Dilip Kumar Das
J Prev Med Public Health. 2016;49(4):240-248.   Published online July 19, 2016
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AbstractAbstract PDF
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) adversely impacts food security in households of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Little research has focused on food insecurity among PLWHA in India. The purpose of this study was to identify the prevalence of and factors relating to food security in households of PLWHA in the Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling, West Bengal, India.
A cross-sectional community-based study was carried out among 173 PLWHA residing in Siliguri and registered at the Anti-retroviral Therapy Centre of North Bengal Medical College & Hospital. Data was collected at the household level with interviews of PLWHA using a food security survey instrument. We analyzed the associations using logistic regression.
The prevalence of household food security among the participants was 50.9% (88/173). Five years or more of schooling, higher socioeconomic class and males were found to be significantly associated with a higher likelihood of food security. A later stage of the disease and the presence of other family members with HIV/AIDS were significantly associated with a lower likelihood of food security. The major coping strategies to deal with food insecurity in the acute phase HIV infection included borrowing money (56.1%), followed by spousal support, loans from microfinance institutions, banks, or money lenders, borrowing food, or selling agricultural products.
The present study revealed that only about half of households with PLWHA were food secure. Prior interventions relating to periods of food and economic crisis as well as strategies for sustaining food security and economic status are needed in this area.


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JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health