Original Research

Nutritional status and metabolic risk in HIV-infected university students: challenges in their monitoring and management

L Steenkamp, I Truter, M Williams, A Goosen, I Oxley, E van Tonder, S Kock, D J L Venter
South African Family Practice | Vol 59, No 1 : January/February| a4653 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/safp.v59i1.4653 | ©
Submitted: 06 March 2017 | Published:

About the author(s)

L Steenkamp, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
I Truter, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
M Williams, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
A Goosen, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
I Oxley, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
E van Tonder, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
S Kock, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
D J L Venter, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

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Abstract

Objective: This study aims to describe challenges in the management of HIV-infected university students focusing on their nutritional status and metabolic risk.

Methods: A cross-sectional, descriptive study design was used to assess the anthropometry, food intake and clinical status of a cohort of known HIV-infected registered students at a South African university.

Results: Participants n = 63) had a mean CD4 cell count of 411 (SD = 219.9) cells/mm3, a mean body mass index (BMI) of 28.05 (SD = 7.9) kg/m2 and only half of the participants (n = 31) were on antiretroviral therapy (ART). A higher BMI (> 25 kg/m2) was significantly (p < 0.05; V = 0.32) associated with higher CD4 cell counts of > 350 cells/mm3. Some 40% (n = 25) of students were at risk for metabolic complications based on their waist circumference and 11% (n = 7) had clinical signs of lipodystrophy. The ‘obese’ group consumed a mean energy intake of 24 kcal/kg bodyweight which was lower than the ‘overweight’ and normal weight groups.

Conclusions: In total 51% of HIV-positive students in the sample presented with signs of metabolic complications. Side effects of ART can be prevented and/or treated by regular physical activity, adequate nutritional intake, monitoring of side effects and BMI, combined with optimal care and support.

(Full text of the research articles are available online at www.medpharm.tandfonline.com/ojfp)

S Afr Fam Pract 2017; DOI: 10.1080/20786190.2016.1248143

Keywords

challenges; HIV; management; metabolic risk; nutrition; students

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