Nutrition counselling and clinical outcomes in HIV: A systematic review and meta-analysis


Background: People living with the HIV (PLHIV) are at an increased risk of various diseases due to a weakened immune system, particularly if they are naïve or poorly adherent to antiretroviral therapy (ART). Nutrients play a critical role in improving immune health, especially among this population. We systematically reviewed the evidence concerning the impact of nutritional counselling on the occurrence of important clinical outcomes among PLHIV.

Methods: Medical literature databases (PubMed, EMBASE and Web of Science) were searched from inception to October 2022 for relevant published studies (n = 12) of nutritional counselling and HIV-related outcomes in adults on ART. Random-effects meta-analyses were conducted when the exposure-outcome relationships were similar in three or more studies.

Results: Although the methodologies of nutritional intervention varied across all studies, overall, the evidence from the meta-analysis indicates a nsignificant positive association between nutrition counselling and improvements in CD4 cell count, body mass index and low-density lipoprotein concentration. However, the existing literature does not provide enough evidence to establish a significant impact of nutrition counselling on other immune, anthropometric, and metabolic outcomes including viral load, weight, and lean mass due to the differences in the study designs.

Conclusion: Well-powered randomized controlled trials are needed that explore the effect of evidence-based, individualized nutrition counselling on HIV-related clinical outcomes.


Okusanya TR, Okoka EM, Kuyebi MA, Oyadiran OT, Kowe T, Noor RA, Omotayo MO, Abioye AI




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Epidemiology
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
  • Population(s)
    • General HIV+ population
  • Health Systems
    • Delivery arrangements


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