United Nations System
Standing Committee on Nutrition


Household Food Security and poverty reduction strategies for HIV affected families

At the end of this section you will be provided with references older than 2004.

Allison EH, Seeley JA. HIV and AIDS among fisher folk: a threat to 'responsible fisheries'? Fish and Fisheries, 2004, 5(3):215-234.

This article explains how the fishing community has been affected by the pandemic, and its response. In fishing communities the HIV/AIDS pandemic was first dealt as a public health issue, and most projects were focusing on education and health care provision. Recently, as the social and economic impacts of the epidemic have become evident, wider social service provision and economic support have been added. The authors draw together the existing data on HIV/AIDS prevalence in fishing communities and review explanations for the observed or presumed high prevalence of HIV in these communities. This article outlines some of the key implications of the epidemic on fishing households, the likely impacts on fishery production, fisheries management and development planning. The article ends with what is being done and what remains to be done to fight HIV/AIDS in communities engaged in fishing.

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NEW! Byron E, Chapoto A, Drinkwater M et al. AIDS and agriculture in Zambia. Food and Nutrition Bulletin 2007, 28(S2):339-344.

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NEW! FAO. Pocketbook on integrating HIV/AIDS considerations into food security and livelihoods projects. Pocket Book Version. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization.

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NEW! FAO. Responding to HIV/AIDS in the fisheries sector. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization.

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NEW! FAO. HIV/AIDS and the Livestock sector. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization.

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FAO/ SEAGA. Addressing HIV/AIDS through Agriculture and Natural Resource Sectors: a guide for extension workers. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization, 2004.

In most developing countries, populations depend on agriculture for subsistence, ranging from 15-30% of the population in the Caribbean to 80% in Africa. The impact of HIV/AIDS erodes the major income of rural household by depleting their labour force, reducing their range of knowledge and skills, and weakening their capacity to feed themselves and preserve adequate levels of nutrition. At national level the pandemic is even in some countries reversing the development gain made during recent decades. For years the rural dimension of the epidemic has being underestimated. Many of the lead agencies addressing the disease have limited experience in working with rural communities, and extension workers, which are familiar to rural communities, have limited experience in the field of HIV/AIDS. Therefore, this document has been prepared to enlarge extension worker skills to the field of HIV/AIDS to strengthen the response to the pandemic. The document is divided into 3 parts: 1 - provides basic information about HIV/AIDS and its impact in the context of rural household and communities; 2 - identifies tools which allowed extension workers to understand the disease in their rural communities prior to respond to the pandemic in their work activities; 3 - provides an overview of the different ways in which agriculture and natural resource sectors may contribute to food and nutrition security in the context of HIV/AIDS in rural settings. The document finally proposes a relevant bibliography of manuals and guides prepared by FAO.

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FAO/ UNDP. African-Asian Agriculture against AIDS. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization; Bangkok, United Nation Development Programme, 2004.

The UNDP South East Asia HIV and Development Programme and FAO jointly organized a consultation in order to formulate innovative approaches 1-to enable countries to face the challenges posed by HIV/AIDS pandemic, 2-to build stronger links among those who are addressing the problem and 3-to take action together towards avoiding potentially disastrous consequences. The consultation was held in Bangkok from 11 to 13 December 2002, and sought to identify the crucial role agriculture could play in reducing HIV vulnerability as well as to explore the benefits of cooperation between Africa and Asia.

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NEW! Fox PM, Rosen S, MacLeod WB et al. The impact of HIV/AIDS on labour productivity in Kenya. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 2004, 9(3): 318-324.

The authors aimed to estimate the impact of HIV/AIDS on individual labour productivity during disease progression. Retrospective data was used to investigate the productivity and attendance of Kenyan tea estate workers who died or were medically retired because of AIDS-related causes. Longitudinal regression was used to compare 54 workers who died or were medically retired because of AIDS to 217 healthy workers. HIV-positive workers plucked less tea in the 18 months preceding AIDS-related termination and used more leave in the 3 years before termination. After adjusting for age and environmental factors, infected workers plucked between 4.11 and 7.93 kg/day less in the last year and a half before termination. They used more sick leave days, more annual leave days, more casual leave days and spent more days doing less tiring tasks in the 2 years before termination than did healthy workers. Tea pluckers who terminated because of AIDS-related causes earned 16.0% and 17,7% less in their 2 last years before termination.

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Gillespie S, Kadiyala S. HIV/AIDS and Food and Nutrition Security: from evidence to action. Washington, DC, International Food and Policy Research Institute, 2005.

This document is the first and the most comprehensive to examine the effects of the complex relationship between HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition security. Thus HIV/AIDS precipitates and exacerbates food and nutrition insecurity-and the spread of HIV/AIDS is accelerated when people are in a situation of lack of food, due to their comportments or to external facts. This paper reviews more than 150 studies linking HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition security. It draws a detailed evidence base of what is actually known about the interactions between HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition security, including economy, epidemiology, nutrition, and sociology. The objectives of this document are to: 1-demonstrate the need to have a comprehensive approach to investigate how HIV/AIDS is affecting people and communities, and government in order to better understand the various risks, impacts and responses, 2-review the evidence of the causes and processes that contribute to the spread of HIV, and the impacts of AIDS and early death, and 3-review the responses to these risks and impacts from micro to macro level, along with the implications for international agencies.

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Gillespie S and Kadiyala S. HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition security: interactions and response. American Journal of Agricultural Economics. 2005, 87(5): 1282-1288.

This useful article provides information on the interactions between HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition security, and proposes some answers concerning appropriate responses to the situation. The first part of this article defines concepts and maps potential interactions between HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition security. The second part focuses on what is known about how food and nutrition insecurity may increase the risk of exposure to HIV infection. Topics covered include gender, mobility, orphanhood, malnutrition, maternal nutritional status to minimize vertical transmission, and the ways through which HIV/AIDS impacts food and nutrition security. A conceptual tool is provided to help agricultural and other development policies to become more “HIV-responsive”. The authors finally highlight a few important research gaps.

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IFPRI. AIDS, poverty, and hunger: challenges and responses. Washington, DC, International Food and Policy Research Institute, 2005.

This complete document presents the highlights of the international conference on HIV/AIDS and food and nutrition security that took place in April 2005 in Durban. It proposes a wide approach to food security and poverty reduction in the context of HIV/AIDS. The document describes the interactions between poverty, food and nutrition security and the risk of being infected with HIV. Some chapters focus on policy and programme responses to these interactions, whereas others examine both interactions and responses. With the conference and this document IFPRI wishes to bring researchers and practitioners together to review the existing evidence and its implications for future food- and nutrition-relevant policies and to highlight remaining knowledge gaps. This book aims to serve as a benchmark and a resource for researchers, policymakers, and practitioners who fight the combined threats of AIDS, poverty, and hunger.

The pdf version of this document has been divided into sections to ease viewing, downloading and printing.

IFPRI. Durban conference. HIV/AIDS and Food and Nutrition Security From Evidence to Action. Durban, South Africa, April 14-16, 2005.

The International Food and Policy Research Institute presents the conference programme that took place between 14-16 April in Durban, South Africa. Summaries, working papers (PDF) and power point presentations are available for the 3 days.

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NEW! IFPRI, RENEWAL. Integrating Nutrition Security with Treatment of People Living with HIV: Lessons being Learned in Kenya. International Food Policy Research Institute, Regional Network on AIDS, Livelihoods and Food Security. 1 September 2006.

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Jooma MB. Southern Africa Assessment: Food security and HIV/AIDS. African Security Review, 2005, 14(1):59-66.

This article proposes an overview of the most severe and interrelated humanitarian issues in Southern Africa. HIV/AIDS and food insecurity are identified, particularly in rural context, as the factors that have the most negative impact on humanitarian issues. The document presents, related with food security, the current needs of the region. It explores the food security theme through different point of view, including agricultural planning and economic liberalization. It then presents, with examples, the impacts of HIV/AIDS in the context of a sustainable development strategy for poverty reduction and food security. The article concludes by a call for effective cross-cutting attention, and proposes that the current immediate and short-term emergency relief and long-term development relationship should be reviewed to prevent a simple reactionary form of assistance, particularly food aid.

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Kadiyala S, Gillespie S. Rethinking food aid to fight AIDS. Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 2004, 25(3):271-282.

This paper highlights particular opportunities that food assistance may present to prevent HIV progression and to enhance care and mitigation. It has taken two decades for HIV/AIDS to be recognized as a serious threat to development and human security by governments and by humanitarian and development agencies. Few have changed their policies and procedures to adjust to these new realities. Nowadays it is admit that food and nutrition are linked to HIV transmission and to the global impact of AIDS. The authors propose to use an "HIV/AIDS lens", to help understand the way HIV/AIDS interacts with other problems. This article provides some background on the nature of HIV/AIDS shock, its implications for people's livelihoods, on the potential role of development food aid, including the preservation of livelihoods and basic survival. The importance of focusing on a objective before analyzing in detail existing food aid programme type and their possible contribution to reduce vulnerability to HIV/AIDS is also approached. The article also proposes strategic issues where "HIV/AIDS lens" can be applied.

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Lemke S. Nutrition security, livelihoods and HIV/AIDS: implications for research among farm worker households in South Africa. Public Health Nutrition, 2005, 8(7) : 844–852.

Previous research on farm-worker households in South Africa found that they were among the most vulnerable of all social strata with regard to income, health status, household nutrition security and education. Previous research also revealed that, besides low socio-economic status, underlying social causes have a negative influence on the nutritional situation of school children. Multidisciplinary research approaches have been conducted to investigate underlying social causes for nutrition insecurity, but up to now the findings have not been satisfactory. Therefore, this paper intends to give an overview on nutrition security in South Africa and its link with poverty, livelihoods and HIV/AIDS, and ends with conclusions for research in the specific setting of farm worker households.

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Mason JB, Bailes A, Mason KE et al. AIDS, drought, and child malnutrition in southern Africa. Public Health Nutrition. 2005, 8(6): 551-563.

This epidemiological analysis aims to investigate trends in child malnutrition in six countries in southern Africa in the context of HIV epidemic and drought during years 2001-2003. Data from Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe concerning weight-for-age of children 0-5 years and HIV prevalence were collected, analysed and recommendations given. Importantly, the most vulnerable may no longer be in the rural areas, but it occurs that the semi-urban households may be the most vulnerable and to whom resources need to be directed. The causes of this vulnerability need further investigations. HIV/AIDS interacts with drought and amplifies the effects of malnutrition, so in case of other drought the response needs to be rapid and effective. Therefore specific nutritional surveillance is needed to monitor and respond to deteriorating trends. Even in normal years HIV epidemic leads to deterioration in child nutrition and well-being. The authors call for new means of bringing help, comfort and assistance to the child population.

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Piwoz EG and Bentley ME. Women’s voices, women’s choices: the challenge of nutrition and HIV/AIDS. The Journal of Nutrition. 2005, 135: 933-937.

This document introduces and summarizes the rational for the symposium on Women and the challenge of nutrition and HIV/AIDS in Asia and Africa that took place in 2004. The symposium aimed at highlighting the challenge facing HIV-infected women living in resource limited settings of Asia and Africa in connection to the everyday decisions which they are forced to make about their own and their children's health and nutrition. The focus is on women because they have to support much of the burden of HIV infection in terms of their numbers and their responsibilities for providing food and care for children, orphans and HIV-affected family members.

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WHO. Nutrition and HIV: Report by the secretariat. 59th World Health Assembly. World Health Organization. May 4, 2006.

This annual document describes activities undertaken at national, regional and global levels relating to nutrition and HIV/AIDS and highlights efforts made since May 2004. These activities were strengthened after the recommendations of the Durban consultation and the deliberations of the Executive Board, which formed the basis for drawing up priorities and a plan of work to guide WHO’s work in this area.

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Wiegers E, Curry J, Garbero A et al. Patterns of vulnerability to AIDS impacts in Zambian households. Development and Challenge, 2006, 37(5): 1073-1092.

HIV/AIDS is currently the leading cause of death in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Zambia it is estimated that about 16% of the population aged between fifteen and forty nine years are infected by HIV and that 630’000 children have been orphaned because of the pandemic. Beyond the direct impact of the dramatic prevalance of HIV/AIDS in some Sub-Saharan countries, a far higher percentage of non-infected people are affected by the presence of the disease in their household or must cope with the death of a family member. The burden of sickness, nursing the chronically ill, premature death, and caring for AIDS orphans is manifested in the reduction of human, financial and physical capital and the disruption of social support mechanism for large numbers of families. Some research have been exploring the impact of the epidemic on rural households in Africa. The pandemic have raised the numbers and representation of various household categories such as those headed by women, the elderly and orphans, and households that recently suffered an adult death. This article highlights that households and household members are not affected in a uniform way, but differ in the vulnerability levels with certain groups being harder hit than others. This article explores the differences in vulnerability to the impact of HIV/AIDS on food security among various household categories in northern Zambia and compared to households that are not affected by the disease. The authors propose that HIV/AIDS affected households should not be treated as a homogeneous group. The understanding of the differences in vulnerability could play a major policy role in designing targeted and sustainable support.

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Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. New Website on HIV/AIDS and food security.

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Rome Declaration on World Food Security

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. HIV/AIDS, food security and nutrition

Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems. An Inter-agency initiative to promote information and mapping systems on food insecurity and vulnerability

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Sustainable development department. List of publications relating HIV and Food Security

The Development Gateway Foundation. Food security

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. List of publications relating HIV/AIDS and nutrition

The International Food and Policy Research Institute. HIV/AIDS and food security
    IFPRI publications on Food Security

The International Food and Policy Research Institute. RENEWAL (Regional Network on HIV/AIDS, Rural Livelihoods and Food Security): Publications on Food Security

World Food Programme: A front-line defense against HIV/AIDS

In this section you will find documents older than 2004:

AED/ USAID/ The Mitchell Group. Multisectoral Responses to HIV/AIDS: A Compendium of Promising Practices from Africa. Washington, DC, The Academy for Educational Development, 2003.

The multisectoral, and therefore complex nature of HIV/AIDS is nowadays fully recognized. Thus many organizations working in Africa, particularly those not involved in health, have been feeling the effects of HIV/AIDS on their programmes. Therefore, some organizations asked for guidance in how to address these complicated issues. An effective response demands committed, urgent, and sustained action by alliances of individuals, organizations and governments. This document brings information on 22 practices that may help private voluntary organization and nongovernmental organization working in their field within the HIV/AIDS pandemic. These practices are not intended to be best practice because most of them are very new, and therefore do not have measurable results. The document is divided in chapters that provide, for example, information about agriculture, food security and nutrition, and conflict and humanitarian relief in the context of HIV/AIDS.

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The Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development. The agriculture, nutrition, and HIV/AIDS connections in developing countries. Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development and USAID, 2003.

This paper provides information on the different ways rural poverty, undernutrition, and HIV/AIDS are interweaved in developing countries. It proposes particular cross-sector investment strategies that can be used more effectively to fight these three elements. The paper is divided in 5 chapters. Three of them present how undernutrition, rural poverty and HIV/AIDS are intimately linked, and the last chapter presents recommendations on how agriculture, nutrition, and health programmes can be better coordinated, designed, and administered together.

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FAO. Food security and HIV/AIDS: an update. Committee on world food security: 29th session, May 12-13, 2003. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization, 2003.

This update summarizes some recent epidemiological trends, reviews the impact of AIDS on food and livelihood security, and highlights the role of poverty alleviation and improved food security in stemming the spread and mitigating the impact of the epidemic. Special attention is paid to the current situation in Southern Africa, where an acute food shortage coincides with some of the most advanced HIV epidemics.

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FAO: Nutrition Programmes Services. Incorporating HIV/AIDS considerations into food security and livelihood projects. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization, 2003.

This document details how to incorporate HIV/AIDS considerations into food security and livelihood projects with a focus on protecting and promoting nutritional well-being among people living with HIV/AIDS and those affected by the disease. This guide is intended to be used by people involved in related policy formulation, project management and technical support. It outlines the relationship between HIV/AIDS and food, nutrition and livelihood security, and provides a series of keys HIV/AIDS related questions and tools.

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Loevinsohn M, Gillespie S. HIV/AIDS, food security and rural livelihoods: understanding and responding. RENEWAL Working paper No. 2, 2003.

The authors describe the kinds of understanding and responding that are needed for agriculture, food and nutrition-relevant organizations to effectively fight HIV/AIDS. Some underlying principles that need to be grasped in order to understand the variable and changing nature of AIDS epidemics are approached. The implications of this understanding for the ways in which different people, in affected households, communities and in affected sectors, may best respond is examined. The paper also focuses on the particular importance of food and nutrition for the four conventional aspects of response - prevention, care, treatment and mitigation. The document then stresses on a flexible and evolving aid, the HIV/AIDS lens, and the processes through which agricultural and professionals can learn to employ aid in order to respond more effectively.

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Mphale MM, Rwambali EG, Makoae MG. HIV/AIDS and its impacts on land tenure and livelihoods in Lesotho. Rome, Unpublished report for the Food and Agriculture Organization, 2002.

The spread of HIV/AIDS in Lesotho, and in other African countries, threatens the access, use and rights to land among community members and erodes the human resource. This has implications for the land tenure system, which at present does not make allowances for the realities of HIV/AIDS facing many agrarian societies. This study makes a contribution to documenting the impacts of HIV/AIDS on land issues and people’s livelihoods. The aim of this document is : 1-to identify the coping strategies that households affected by HIV/AIDS adopt in order to survive, 2-to assess how these coping strategies are related to land tenure provisions and their implications for food security and sustainable livelihoods, 3-to document the experiences of affected families regarding protection of the land rights of widows and orphans, 4-to find out the extent to which the provision for leases has provided opportunities for households affected by HIV/AIDS, and 5-to determine the link between HIV/AIDS and increasing land sales and conversions. The document ends with a series of recommendations for improving the response to HIV/AIDS.

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Piot P et al. AIDS and Food Security. Washington, DC, International Food and Policy Research Institute, 2002.

These two essays on HIV/AIDS and food security are reprint from The International Food and Policy Research Institute's 2001-2002 annual report.

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Rosegrant MW, Cline SA. Global food security: challenges and policies. Science, 2003, 302(5652):1917-1919.

This article addresses global food security challenges, including, but not focusing on HIV/AIDS. Factors like climate changes, agricultural research, water scarcity, poverty reduction are also mentioned. It ends with positive but severe proposals for reducing food insecurity, starting with reform of currently accepted agricultural practices, and investment in research, water and transport infrastructure.

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Stokes S. Measuring impacts of HIV/AIDS on rural livelihoods and food security. Rome, Food and Agriculture Organization, 2003.

Measuring the impact of HIV/AIDS on rural livelihoods and food security is an important path as a necessary step in the development, monitoring and evaluation of mitigation efforts. The purpose of this systematic analysis is to examine general patterns of the impacts of HIV/AIDS on rural livelihood assets and to propose a set of indicators to measure these impacts. This paper proposes that all rural households possess five sets of livelihood assets, capabilities and activities through which they seek to earn their living. Each of the five capital assets - human, financial, natural, social and physical capital - are demonstrated to be impacted by the epidemic and therefore need to be further researched.

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WFP. Programming in the Era of AIDS: WFP's Response to HIV/AIDS. Executive Board First Regular Session, February 5-7, 2003. WFP/EB.1/2003/4-B. Rome, World Food Programme, 2003.

This policy paper reflects what is known so far about HIV/AIDS and food security, and describes the practical considerations identified that are necessary for successful project implementation. It reviews the relationship between food security and HIV/AIDS and identifies specific vulnerable groups. It also identifies specific programme areas where WFP has a significant role to play in supporting the food security of families and communities affected by AIDS. This paper highlights some key programming areas where a different emphasis and modified approach are necessary to meet the emerging needs of food-insecure families and individuals deeply affected by the AIDS pandemic.

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