Food Security Study

PAN is a partner on the Impact of Food Security on Health Outcomes in People Living with HIV/AIDS Across Canada project, a national study examining how access to safe and nutritious food influences the health of people living with HIV/AIDS. The project brings together stakeholders from AIDS service organizations, academics, and leaders in the field of service delivery, advocacy, HIV policy and knowledge transfer and exchange in three provinces: British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec.

What is Food Security?

According to the United Nations, food security can be defined as the condition which exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Conversely, food insecurity is defined as having uncertain or limited availability of nutritionally adequate or safe food or the inability to procure food in socially acceptable ways. People living with HIV/AIDS are more likely to experience food insecurity, which can in turn lead to poor health outcomes.

For more information, visit the Rome Declaration on World Food Security

For more information on healthy eating advice for people living with HIV/AIDS, visit EatSafe

Study Objectives

  • Assess the prevalence of general food insecurity among HIV positive individuals in Canada
  • Identify the prevalence of various subtypes of food insecurity (i.e., food insufficiency, poor food quality/diversity, and socially unacceptable methods of food acquisition) among HIV positive individuals
  • Examine the socio-demographic correlates of general food insecurity and sub-types of food insecurity among HIV positive individuals
  • Examine the clinical outcomes associated with general and sub-types of food insecurity among HIV positive individuals

Long Term Goals

  • Help government, community-based organizations and society at large recognize the relationship between food and health, in particular for people living with HIV
  • Spark new support programs and services for the community
  • Inform policies that limit the availability and access to appropriate food sources and nutrition for people living with HIV in Canada

Methods

The BC component of the project employs peer research assistants who will assist with participant recruitment and deliver interviews with approximately 800 HIV positive British Columbians. The interview questionnaire will be validated through focus groups hosted by community AIDS service organization.

Interested in Participating or Learning More?

Recruitment has been completed in British Columbia. Stay tuned over the spring of 2013 for details on study analysis and dissemination of the results.