249033 Food Insecurity and Utilization of Food and Nutrition Services among Persons Living with HIV/AIDS in New York: Social and Geographic Disparities

Monday, October 31, 2011

Angela A. Aidala, PhD , Mailman School of Pubic Health, Columbia University, New York, NY
Maiko Yomogida , Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY
INTRODUCTION Food insecurity is a recognized problem for persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in low resource countries. There is limited evidence that food issues are increasing among PLWH in the US with similar adverse consequences for individual and community health. The purpose of this study is to investigate longitudinal patterns of food insecurity, need for food assistance, and food service utilization among PLWHA.

METHODS Food insecurity and use of food and nutrition services were reported in four rounds of in-person interviews conducted between 2003 and 2010 for a cohort study of PLWHA residing in New York City (N=693) and the Tri-County region north of the City (N=484). Graphical and statistical techniques are used to examine trends over time and to identify sub-populations of special need.

RESULTS Rates of need for food assistance are high. At each interview period 60-70% of the sample reported relying on food assistance programs (e.g. group meals, food pantry) and/or reported that they don't have enough to eat at least some of the time. Need for food assistance is consistently greater in suburban areas. Active drug users, older MSM, and PLWHA with poor mental health are more likely than others to have unmet need for food assistance. Area of residence and characteristics of medical and case management services are the strongest predictors of reduction of unmet need.

CONCLUSION Findings underscore the importance of integrating food and nutritional services with medical care and other services for PLWHA and the different service needs of suburban populations.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Identify the extent of food insecurity and need for food services among PLWHA. 2. Describe potential differences in services needed to address food issues among suburban populations.

Keywords: Food Security, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am Co-PI and Study Director of the Community Health Advisory and Information Network Project upon which this research is based. I have conducted research on service needs and service utilization among persons living with HIV/AIDS for over 20 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.