As understanding of the multidimensional nature of HIV epidemics improves, it is increasingly recognized that policy and program interventions, whether focusing on prevention, treatment and care, or impact mitigation, must take into account the integral role of food and nutrition security. More broadly, interventions need to consider how people’s livelihoods evolve and adapt to deal with the multifaceted nature of HIV. In eastern and southern Africa, evidence pointing to a vicious cycle between HIV and food and nutrition insecurity is mounting. Programs are now being implemented that link HIV to food and nutritional security, as well as to livelihoods. However, additional evidence on the effectiveness of these interventions is needed to inform policy and program efforts to improve treatment and strengthen resilience to the impacts of HIV. To build this evidence base, the Horizons Program conducted a study in Kenya and Zambia to understand the role that livelihood strategies play. In addition to presenting findings from the study that explored the livelihood strategies of people on antiretroviral therapy (ART), this brief presents recommendations on how to transition people on ART from therapeutic and supplementary feeding to sustainable, long-term livelihood security.
Samuels, Fiona, Naomi Rutenberg, Joseph Simbaya, Jerry Okal, Nicodemus Kisengese, Stanley Luchters, Susan Kaai, and Scott Geibel. 2008. "Food on the table: The role of livelihood strategies in maintaining nutritional status among ART patients in Kenya and Zambia," Horizons Research Summary. Washington, DC: Population Council.