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Background: Nutritional status has become an increasingly important aspect of quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWA). Ensuring the best possible treatment of HIV/AIDS additionally requires a nutritionally balanced diet to maintain a healthy body. AIDS Project New Haven (APNH) is an organization that provides access to a variety of comprehensive support services to those affected by HIV/AIDS. In order to address the nutritional shortcomings of homebound PLWAs, APNH provides home delivered meals through a program called Caring Cuisine.

Objective: To inform APNH of client characteristics of both Caring Cuisine and case management. Additionally, a comparison of dietary intake, food security, quality of life, mental health, and HIV risk behaviors between Caring Cuisine and case management clients is important. With these descriptive measures, we aimed to assess the influence of home delivered meals through Caring Cuisine on nutritional status, clinical indicators, and various quality of life measures.

Design: There were two parts to this evaluation that included a medical chart review (n=164) of all active APNH clients and client surveys (n=21) that were used to assess demographic information, dietary intake and diversity, food security, and quality of life/ mental health. Of those that completed the questionnaire,11 individuals were Caring Cuisine clients while 10 were case management clients. Scores were developed for survey measurements that were analyzed by student t-test and chi-squared test.

Results: Overall, Caring Cuisine clients were older, less able to work and live in smaller households. There was no significant difference in quality of life indicators, except for social functioning. Less social functioning was seen for Caring Cuisine clients (43.6±35.6) than for case management clients (78.0±22.0). Additionally, household size was significantly smaller in Caring Cuisine households (p-value = 0.0006). On average, Caring Cuisine clients had lower physical health(34.1±8.8) and mental health summary scores (43.5±9.8) compared with case management clients (41.5±8.7 and 49.2±9.3, respectively). Furthermore,Caring Cuisine clients reported higher food security (1.7±2.2) than case management clients (6.0±7.1) and consumed 3 more vegetables, fruits dairy, meat and grains. However, Caring Cuisine clients also consumed more saturated fats, cholesterol, and sodium.

Conclusion: As a preliminary analysis assessing subject characteristics of APNH clients enrolled in Caring Cuisine compared with general clients, we saw differences in absolute values of dietary, behavioral, and clinical outcomes. However, at this time, there is not a large enough client base to suggest that clients of APNH are significantly different from one another by Caring Cuisine enrollment status.Trends indicate that Caring Cuisine clients have on average less healthy eating habits, higher foods security, more risk behavior activities, and decreased quality of life indicators as compared with case management clients. Larger studies are needed to confirm and validate these findings.

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Community Health and Preventive Medicine

The Dietary Intake, Food Security, and Quality of Life of HIV-Positive Individuals Receiving  Home Delivered Meals