The interplay between socio-demographic variables, nutritional and immune status of HIV-positive/AIDS patients

31 May 2019

This study examined the association between socio-demographic factors (educational level and employment status) and the nutritional and immune status of 35 HIV-positive/AIDS patients at baseline. Assessment of selected macro-and micronutrient dietary intake was done using a validated food frequency questionnaire. Evaluation of anthropometric profiles (body mass index, waist-hip ratio and percentage of body fat) was also evaluated. A questionnaire was applied to obtain information on the educational level and employment status of the patients. The CD4+T-cell counts and viral loads of the same patients were determined using the flow cytometry and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) method respectively. An association between educational level and dietary intake was significant (p<0.05) for total dietary fibre, selenium and vitamin C. There was no significant (p>0.05) association between the two socio-demographic variables (education and employment) and anthropometric profiles. The association between education, employment and CD4+T-cell count was not significant (p>0.05). The viral load showed a significant (p<0.05) association with employment status but not correlated with education. The sample size or certain inherent biological and social factors probably affected the outcomes of the interplay between the two selected socio-demographic factors and the nutritional and immune status. It is suggested that the results of this study should be interpreted with caution. Further studies with larger sample sizes are recommended.