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Press Release

Nutrition Intervention and HIV Position Paper Updated

2010-07-01

Nutritional Aspects of Care for People with HIV: Updated Position of the American Dietetic Association

Media Contacts: Ryan O'Malley, Allison MacMunn
800/877-1600, ext. 4769, 4802 media@eatright.org

CHICAGO – The American Dietetic Association has published an updated position paper on the nutritional aspects of care for people with HIV infection. The paper emphasizes the importance of integrating individualized nutrition care into the management of HIV and co-existing conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

ADA’s updated position paper, published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, represents the Association’s official stance on Nutrition Intervention and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection:

    It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that efforts to optimize nutritional status through individualized medical nutrition therapy, assurance of food and nutrition security, and nutrition education are essential to the total system of health care available to people with human immunodeficiency virus infection.

ADA’s position paper was written by registered dietitians Cade Fields-Gardner, director of services, TCE Consulting Group Inc., Cary, Ill.; and Adriana Campa, associate professor in the department of dietetics and nutrition, Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work, Florida International University.

They note strong scientific evidence that indicates maintaining a healthy body weight and nutrient intake supports a person’s immune function and the effectiveness of treatment for HIV.

ADA’s position paper outlines the roles and responsibilities of registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, registered in “integrating nutrition assessment and individualized management” into an effective medical management plan.

According to the authors, greater access to medication treatment has generally led to longer life expectancy in people living with HIV infection, “requiring strategies for more complicated disease and nutrition management issues in long-term survival. New HIV infections are disproportionately affecting people with lower incomes and less access to health care, creating challenges to supporting treatment access and goals.”

The authors add: “ADA’s paper emphasizes the importance of integrating an individualized nutrition care plan to improve outcomes and to assist in the management of common conditions that co-exist with HIV, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and others.”

ADA’s position paper outlines nutrition assessment and management features that are specific to pediatric HIV assessment and care and treatment efforts, and provides recommendations for reimbursement for nutrition-related services with specific examples of current reimbursement regulations.

ADA’s position paper also calls for more research “to understand the influence of nutrition on health, disease and survival in HIV infection.”

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The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.