May 30, 2014

AIDS Education Month


Did you know?  The majority of AIDS cases in MANNA’s 9 county service area are in Philadelphia.

Did you know?  As of 2012 there are more than 19,800 Philadelphians living with HIV/AIDS.

Did you know?  HIV/AIDS ranks in the top 3 diseases of MANNA clients.


Nutrition plays a vital role for individuals who are infected by HIV. They may suffer from decreased nutritional status caused by poor nutrient intake, malabsorption, metabolic disturbances and side effects of medications. It is extremely important for people infected with HIV to maintain proper nutrition to keep their immune system strong, enabling them to better fight the disease. To prevent muscle wasting and weight loss, it is recommended that individuals diagnosed with HIV/AIDS increase their protein and calorie intake. A few examples of foods that are high calorie and high protein include peanut butter, eggs, dairy products, red meat and poultry. In addition, food safety is extremely important for individuals who have compromised immune systems. It’s imperative to avoid foods that are high-risk, including raw eggs, unpasteurized products, raw meat or fish and unwashed fruits or vegetables. A healthy diet combined with exercise may help with symptoms such as fatigue, metabolic abnormalities and maintaining a healthy weight.

This June, marks the 20th anniversary of AIDS Education Month (AEM), hosted by Philadelphia Fight.  MANNA registered dietitian Alura Costa will be speaking about HIV and nutrition at the 4th Annual Faith Leaders and Community Summit on June 7 from 8 AM to 2 PM at the Marriott Hotel located on 1202 Market Street. Workshops at this event include pastoral self-care, prayer as healing, women, faith and HIV, teen pregnancy and HIV and more.  Learn more about the events offered through AEM during the month of June at