The Food Security study is a national CIHR-funded cross-sectional community-based research study that looked into the impact of food insecurity on health outcomes of people living with HIV in Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. Compared to the general Canadian population, people living with HIV are significantly more likely to experience food insecurity. Study findings highlight the importance of developing holistic programs that address the underlying causes of food insecurity while building stronger, broader community partnerships to prevent food insecurity among people living with HIV.
Among 650 Ontario participants:
- 59% received food supports and 49% skipped meals as result of not having enough money to buy food
- 24% went a day without eating
- People with annual incomes less than $20,000 were 3x more likely to be food-insecure
- People who had ever used drugs or been to jail were 2x more likely to be food-insecure
- Women and people from racialized communities were 2x more likely to be food-insecure
- People who were food-secure reported 30% fewer symptoms of HIV, and were 11% more likely to take their medications as prescribed
- People who were food-secure reported 78% fewer depressive symptoms, and were 13% less likely to feel stigmatized due to their HIV status
The results of the study highlight the need to develop holistic programs that address the underlying causes of food insecurity.
Among 1,296 participants across Canada:
- 67% were food-insecure
- People who were unemployed or had an annual household income less than $20,000 were 2x more likely to be food-insecure
- People who had depression were 3x more likely to be food-insecure
- People who had engaged in significant substance use within the past six months were 2x more likely to be food-insecure
- People who had difficulty meeting housing expenses were 4x more likely to be food-insecure
- People who had moved once in the past twelve months were 2x more likely to be food-insecure
L’insécurité alimentaire : un problème largement répandu chez les personnes vivant avec le VIH/sida / Food Insecurity: Widespread Among People Living with HIV/AIDS
This report, written in 2015, outlines Food Security concerns faced by people living with HIV in Quebec. Download the pdf in French or English.
Association between Food Insecurity and Procurement Methods among People Living with HIV in a High Resource Setting
Published in PLOS ONE in 2016, this article examines the prevalence and characteristics of food insecurity among people living with HIV across British Columbia. Results demonstrate that food insecurity is associated with unstable housing, low income and depression. Read the full article (open access)
Other Study Resources:
Ontario Food Security Fact Sheet
Quebec Food Security Fact Sheet (French) (English).