AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 21, Issue 12, pp 3515–3526 | Cite as

The Impact of Food Assistance on Dietary Diversity and Food Consumption among People Living with HIV/AIDS

  • Nyasha TirivayiEmail author
  • Wim Groot
Original Paper


Little is known about the outcomes of food assistance targeted to food insecure people living with HIV/AIDS. Using primary data from Zambia, we estimated the impact of food assistance on the dietary diversity and consumption expenditures of households with HIV infected members receiving antiretroviral therapy. Propensity score matching estimates show that food assistance increased dietary diversity by 9.8 points (23%) mainly through the consumption of food items provided in the ration. Food assistance recipients were 20% points more likely to have acceptable food consumption and 15% points less likely to have poor food consumption than non-recipients. Food assistance also increased food consumption expenditures but had no significant impact on food purchases and total consumption expenditures. Overall, our findings demonstrate that food assistance can be an effective instrument for improving diets and enhancing the food security of people living with HIV/AIDS.


HIV/AIDS Food assistance Dietary diversity Food consumption Zambia 



This study was financed by UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, the Ford Foundation and the Poverty, Equity and Growth Network. The authors acknowledge the support received from the Zambian Ministry of Health, the World Food Program Regional and Zambia offices, the Central Statistical Office of the Republic of Zambia, the Program for Urban Self Help and the enumerators. The funding bodies were not involved in the study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, or manuscript preparation.


This study was funded by the UNAIDS, the World Health Organization, the Ford Foundation and the Poverty, Equity and Growth Network.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The Authors declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UNU-MERIT, United Nations UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Health Services ResearchMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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