An assessment of the effect of a peanut based ready-to-use nutritional supplement on HIV positive adults on antiretroviral therapy, attending the 1000 Hills Community Helpers Centre, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
Ncwane, Mphilonhle Vuyani Sibongeleni.
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Introduction: The aim of this study was to assess the nutritional effect of a peanut based ready-to-use food supplement (RUSF) [Sibusiso®] on HIV positive adults on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Objectives: (1) To determine whether the BMI of HIV positive adults on ART supplemented with RUSF was improved after a three months supplementation period. (2) To determine the most predominant self reported disease symptoms experienced by HIV positive adults on ART at baseline assessment. (3) To determine whether predominant disease symptoms experienced by HIV positive adults in ART improved after supplementation with Sibusiso® RUSF. (4) To determine whether appetite, meal consumption and energy levels improved among HIV positive adults on ART supplemented with Sibusiso® RUSF. (5) To determine if there was any observed changes in body fat distribution in HIV positive adults on ART after being supplemented with Sibusiso® RUSF. Materials and methods: This is a non randomised descriptive study whereby data was collected using a cross-sectional method. It included 50 HIV positive adults (between 20 and 78 years of age) on antiretroviral therapy, attending the 1000 hills community helpers’ centre, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. A monitoring tool was used to collect data on anthropometrical measurements (weight and height), disease symptoms experienced, disease conditions identified by the researcher/research assistants, level of appetite, meal frequency consumption and energy for each subject for a period of three consecutive months. Twenty participants were interviewed to assess the body fat distribution after using the supplement using a self reporting method. Results and discussions: Study findings suggest that supplementation with RUSF for at least three months has a potential to gradually improve weight gain among HIV-positive adults on ART. The most self reported predominant disease symptom experienced before supplementation was fever, followed by nausea and persistent diarrhoea. This was in keeping with the results from other studies. After supplementation, there was a significant improvement in fever and gastroenteritis and steady but statistically significant decline in vomiting. However there was non-significant improvement in nausea and no change in persistent diarrhoea. RUSF in this study was also found to exert a beneficial effect on appetite, meal consumption and energy levels of participants. The study showed that short-term supplementation with RUSF is highly unlikely to result in lipodystrophy. Conclusion: The administration of the nutrition supplement Sibusiso® RUSF for at least three months, in conjunction with the use of ART, was found to improve nutritional status in HIV patients under the controlled condition. Sibusiso® RUSF was able to improve the episode of fever which was most dominant disease symptom at baseline while improving gastroenteritis and vomiting. However it did not have an impact on reducing the episodes of nausea and persistent diarrhoea. Sibusiso® RUSF was also able to improve appetite, meal consumption and energy of participants after a three month period.