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For Ugandan children, hunger and HIV make a deadly mix

For Ugandan children, hunger and HIV make a deadly mix
Esther’s family, who are farmers, have been hit hard by the drought that has scorched East Africa. They have had to ration the little food they have to survive – but this is particularly dangerous for Esther, who, like her parents, is HIV-positive. Esther is receiving anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment – which slows the development of HIV and holds off its progression into AIDS. But crucial to the proper functioning of these drugs is good nutrition, doctors say. “The hospital has received 232 children, more than half of all the children on HIV medication in the district. They lack food and have been malnourished since the start of this year,” Akelo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in Katakwi. “It is important that someone with HIV first takes a meal before taking on drugs.”