Nutritional Support

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Adequate nutrition is essential to the health and well being of children living with HIV/AIDS. In addition to normal nutritional requirements for childhood growth and development, proper nutrition thwarts HIV disease progression, promotes a healthy immune system and reduces the incidence of opportunistic infections. For HIV infected children nutritional requirements are known to be 50-100% greater than those of uninfected children. In the absence of sufficient nutrition, HIV-positive children experience AIDS wasting, metabolic disorders, low body weight, increased viral replication and sub-optimal growth, which is an independent risk factor for death. PATS provides each child with a basic monthly food package which includes fruit, milk powder, bread and crackers. In addition to this nutritional support, each household is provided with a modest monthly stipend in order to purchase fresh, nutritious foods for the children on a daily basis. This is a critical and necessary part of the program given the nutritional requirements of these children.