Notes to broadcasters on HIV and AIDS and nutrition

    | August 22, 2011

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    Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are used to treat HIV-positive people. They do not cure HIV, but they prevent a person’s immune system from becoming weakened by the virus. HIV-positive patients who have a varied diet and good nutrition are better able to tolerate ARV treatment, which can put a stress on the body.

    For updates on work towards universal access to ARVs, and discussion of the difficulties involved in ensuring universal access, visit: This page also provides data on the number of people needing medication alongside the number of people actually receiving medication.

    This report gives information on the importance of nutrition for HIV-positive people:

    For basic background information on HIV and AIDS, go to:

    In January 2005, Farm Radio International published a package of scripts that focused on HIV and AIDS and food security. To find these scripts, go to:, and scroll down to Package 73.

    Here are more Farm Radio International scripts on HIV and AIDS:

    Food is Medicine: HIV/AIDS and Nutrition. Package 65, Script 7, October 2002.

    Gender and HIV/AIDS. Package 81, Script 7, August 2007.

    HIV/AIDS: Preventing mother-to-child transmission. Package 69, Script 6, December 2003.

    Here are three stories from Farm Radio Weekly’s special issues for World AIDS Day in December 2010:

    -“Zambia: Co-operative farmers help meet dietary needs of people living with HIV” (FRW 137, December 2010)

    -“Burkina Faso: Free HIV medication does not guarantee a better life” (FRW 137, December 2010)

    -“Tanzania: Keeping chickens revived my life” (FRW 137, December 2010)

    HIV and AIDS affect many communities in Africa. Many people still lack access to information which can help prevent the spread of the HIV virus. Others who are HIV-positive or living with AIDS cannot get the medical or emotional support they need. You could address this topic in a radio show. Encourage people to talk about what is often a difficult subject. You can find more program ideas and advice on how to approach the topic in our previous Notes to Broadcasters: