Guidelines for an integrated approach to nutritional care of HIV-infected children
(6 month-14 years)
Preliminary version for country introduction
In the area of nutrition and HIV, children deserve special attention because of their additional needs to ensure growth and development and their dependency on adults for adequate care. It was therefore proposed to first develop guidelines for children and thereafter consider a similar approach for other specific groups.
The content of these guidelines acknowledges that wasting and undernutrition in HIV-infected children reflect a series of failures within the health system, the home and community and not just a biological process related to virus and host interactions. In trying to protect the nutritional well-being or reverse the undernutrition experienced by infected children, issues of food insecurity, food quantity and quality as well as absorption and digestion of nutrients are considered. Interventions are proposed that are practical and feasible in resource-poor settings and offer a prospect for clinical improvement.
The guidelines do not cover the feeding of infants 0 to 6 months old, because the specialised care in this age group is already addressed in other WHO guidelines and documents.