Date of Award

Summer 6-8-2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Murugi Ndirangu

Second Advisor

Allison Ross Eckard

Third Advisor

Anita Nucci


Background: Few studies have evaluated habitual nutrient intake among HIV-infected youth in the United States, even though diet may influence disease progression and chronic complication risk.

Objective: This study determined micro- and macronutrient intake in HIV-infected youth, and investigated relationships among nutrient intake, demographics, lipid profiles, and HIV-related factors.

Design: HIV-infected subjects and healthy controls 1-25 years old were prospectively enrolled. Concomitant demographic, clinical and laboratory data were collected. Nutrient intake was assessed via 24-hr dietary recalls performed every 3 months for one year, analyzed with NDS-R software, and compared to Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) and Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDRs).

Results: Subjects with ≥2 food recalls were analyzed (175 HIV+; 43 controls). Groups were similar in age, race, sex, body mass index, and kilocalorie intake. Both groups did not meet DRI for several micronutrients. HIV+ subjects had lower %DRI than controls for vitamins A, E, pantothenic acid, magnesium, calcium, folate and potassium. Percent kilocalories from fat was above normal and higher in HIV+ patients. Caloric intake was negatively correlated with current and nadir CD4 counts. Zinc, riboflavin, and magnesium %DRI were positively associated with current CD4+ count. In HIV+ subjects not on antiretroviral therapy, HIV-1 RNA levels were negatively correlated with protein intake.

Conclusions: HIV+ youth have inadequate intake of several essential nutrients and poorer dietary intake compared to controls. Intake of some nutrients was associated with HIV-related factors. Further investigation is warranted to determine the impact of nutrition on HIV progression and chronic complication risk in this population.