Nutrition Health Education
AIDS Community Resources has been selected by the AIDS Institute to administer a new federal nutrition program for HIV positive individuals, significantly expanding ACR’s supportive services footprint. The program for ACR clients, Nutrition Health Education and Food and Meal Services for Persons Living With HIV/AIDS, is funded by a $286,000 grant and will serve 15 upstate New York counties, including ACR’s nine-county service area, by offering health-enhancing nutritional education sessions for individuals and groups, and food assistance through pantry bags and food vouchers.
“Nutrition is a key building block for the health of people with HIV, and one benefit we have been unable to offer on a comprehensive basis until now,” said ACR Executive Director Michael Crinnin, at a Watertown press conference. “This is a big step forward. Studies show that people with AIDS who don’t have adequate nutrition get sick more often and die earlier.”
To enroll, client must be HIV positive, have a signed HIPPA release and have a registered dietician's assessment within 45 days of enrolling.
They must attend six group education sessions and twelve individual sessions with a nutrition educator. In return, they receive a fifty-dollar gift food voucher every two weeks. They must return with receipt every appointment and follow an allowable food list. There is no time limit for our program, we serve each client for as long as they need it and we will graduate them out if they demonstrate improvement and significant increase in nutritional knowledge.
Group education sessions consist of: basic food groups, label reading, portion control, dietary guidelines, making better beverage choices and nutrition geared towards promoting healthy lifestyles for HIV+ individuals who are also living with other co-morbidities (diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, hepatitis C, etc.)