e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

Nutritional care of HIV-infected children

Weight loss and undernutrition are common in people living with HIV/AIDS and are likely to accelerate disease progression, increase morbidity and reduce survival. In children with HIV/AIDS, growth impairment often occurs before opportunistic infections or other symptoms are present.

Adequate nutrition, which is best achieved through consumption of a balanced healthy diet, is vital for health and survival for all individuals regardless of HIV status. Children deserve special attention because of nutritional requirements necessary for growth and development, and because of their dependency on adults for adequate care.

Nutritional assessment and support should be integrated into the routine care of HIV-infected children. Dietary interventions should consider issues of food security, food quantity and food quality, as well as absorption and digestion of nutrients.

WHO recommendations

Children (6 months-14 years) living with HIV should be assessed, classified and managed according to a nutrition care plan to cover their nutrient needs associated with the presence of HIV and nutritional status and to ensure appropriate growth and development.


Additional information can be found in the guidance documents under 'WHO documents' below.

WHO documents

WHO documents

GRC-approved guidelines

Status: not currently available

Other guidance documents


Related Cochrane reviews
Clinical trials

Last update:

15 June 2017 14:50 CEST

Category 2 intervention

Systematic review(s) have been conducted but no recent guidelines yet available that have been approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee

Biological, behavioural and contextual rationale

Essential Nutrition Actions

This intervention is an Essential Nutrition Action targeting the first 1000 days of life.