A Systematic Review of Nutritional Supplementation in HIV-Infected Children in Resource-Limited Settings

Megan S. McHenry, Avika Dixit, Rachel C. Vreeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Background: In resource-limited settings, malnutrition is the major cause of death in young children, but the precise benefits of nutritional supplementation for HIV-infected children are not well understood. Methods: Two researchers reviewed studies conducted in low- or middle-income countries that involved macro- and micronutrient supplementation in HIV-infected individuals ≥18 years. Results: Fifteen studies focused on micronutrients, including vitamin A, zinc, multivitamins, and multiplemicronutrient supplementation. The 8 macronutrient studies focused on ready-to-use foods (4 studies), spirulina, whey protein, general food rations, and F75 and F100 starter formulas. Vitamin A was associated with improved mortality rates, ranging from 28% to 63%. Multiple-micronutrient supplementations were not associated with improvement of measured health outcomes. Ready-to-use foods were associated with improvement in certain anthropometrics. Conclusion: Periodic vitamin A supplementation is associated with reduced mortality. Macronutrient supplementation is linked to improved anthropometrics. More research is needed to determine how nutritional supplementation benefits this particularly vulnerable population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)313-323
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 25 2015


  • AIDS
  • children
  • clinical outcomes
  • HIV
  • nutrition
  • nutritional supplementation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Dermatology
  • Infectious Diseases

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