HIV and AIDS


Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has become a global health crisis and a leading cause of death in the developing world.

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) continues to be a major global public health issue, having claimed more than 34 million lives so far. In 2014, 1.2 million people died from HIV-related causes globally. There were approximately 36.9 million people living with HIV at the end of 2014. In 2014 alone, 2 million people worldwide became newly infected with HIV. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with 25.8 million HIV patients in 2014. Sub-Saharan Africa also accounts for almost 70% of the global total of new HIV infections (World Health Organization).

HIV infection is often diagnosed through rapid diagnostic tests, which detect the presence or absence of HIV antibodies. Most often these tests provide same-day test results, which are essential for same-day diagnosis and early treatment and care. It is estimated that currently only 54% of people with HIV know their status. In 2014, approximately 150 million children and adults in 129 low- and middle-income countries received HIV testing services (World Health Organization).

Current treatment involves the use of costly and highly toxic antiretroviral drugs that are largely insufficient and ineffective in meeting this challenge. This is because they are based on the singular theory that AIDS is caused by HIV, when it has been recognized that other factors, especially malnutrition or micronutrient deficiency, are intricately linked to the development of AIDS. Most importantly, antiretroviral drugs can further weaken the immune system and pose a potential risk for AIDS development.

Thus, specific micronutrient deficiencies are very common in patients with HIV or AIDS, constituting an important underlying factor for the acquirement of immune deficiency, specifically in people from developing countries on the African continent. Hence, a comprehensive approach utilizing nutritional intervention is required to successfully treat this deadly disease.


This section of the Library collects scientific studies that reveal several ways in which micronutrients can help to fight HIV/AIDS.

Scientific Studies


May 25, 2016

Vitamin B12 malabsorption in patients with HIV

May 25, 2016

Vitamin B12 deficiency is common in HIV-infected patients

May 25, 2016

Vitamin A supplementation improves health condition of HIV-infected children

May 25, 2016

Vitamin A decreases gastrointestinal problems in HIV-infected infants

May 25, 2016

Vitamin A and beta-carotene deficiency in HIV-infected pregnant women

May 25, 2016

Vitamin B12 supplementation reverses AIDS-associated dementia

May 25, 2016

Low levels of vitamin A and carotenoids increase death risk in HIV patients

May 25, 2016

Micronutrient intake supports immune system of HIV infected patients

May 25, 2016

Green tea compounds inhibit HIV

May 25, 2016

Efficacy of micronutrients against HIV

May 25, 2016

N-acetylcysteine inhibits inflammation in AIDS/HIV

May 25, 2016

Micronutrient deficiencies are associated with HIV progression

May 25, 2016

Vitamin C inhibits human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

May 25, 2016

Vitamin A deficiency contributes to mother-to-child transmission of HIV

May 25, 2016

Arginine: a therapeutic option for treating AIDS/HIV infection

May 25, 2016

Vitamin A deficiency in HIV-infected mothers increases risk of infant death

May 25, 2016

Vitamin C decreases the survival of HIV-infected cells

May 25, 2016

Green tea extract prevents HIV infection

May 25, 2016

Green tea extract fights HIV infection

May 25, 2016

Vitamin E and C reduce oxidative stress in HIV-infected patients

May 25, 2016

Vitamins improve weight gain in HIV-infected pregnant women

May 24, 2016

Micronutrient supplementation is beneficial in HIV-infected adults

May 24, 2016

Vitamin C controls HIV infection

May 24, 2016

Patients infected with HIV have low blood levels of vitamin B12

May 24, 2016

Beneficial effects of vitamin C in HIV/AIDS

May 24, 2016

Vitamin B12 deficiency causes nervous system disorders in HIV patients

May 24, 2016

Vitamin A supplements reduce death rate among HIV-infected children

May 24, 2016

Multivitamin supplementation delays HIV progression

May 24, 2016

Arginine supplementation is safe for HIV/AIDS patients


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