Introduction

The Copenhagen Consensus is a project that seeks to establish priorities for advancing global welfare and economic development. In its 2004 report, this panel of economic experts identified HIV/AIDS and malnutrition as the two leading obstacles to human

From: Nutrition and Health: Handbook of Nutrition and Pregnancy Edited by: C.J. Lammi-Keefe, S.C. Couch, E.H. Philipson © Humana Press, Totowa, NJ

betterment. HIV/AIDS control strategies and provision of micronutrient supplementation were identified as the most cost-effective methods to improve global welfare [1].

Unfortunately, micronutrient deficiencies and HIV/AIDS occur in tandem, predominantly in impoverished settings, where investments in control strategies have traditionally been difficult. Of the estimated 33 million people living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, more than 95% reside in developing nations [2]. Sub-Saharan Africa is the most heavily affected region, which comprises 10% of the world's population but accounts for 60% of the total number of people living with HIV/AIDS globally [2]. Malnutrition and food insecurity are prevalent in HIV-infected populations, and most people living with HIV/AIDS experience some degree of micronutrient deficiency [3].

In this chapter, we focus on the interplay of micronutrient deficiencies and HIV/AIDS among pregnant women. We begin with a brief review of the current evidence for the use of various micronutrients in HIV-negative pregnant women. The relationship between micronutrient status and pregnancy outcomes among HIV-infected women is then explored in detail, by reviewing the available evidence from observational studies and randomized trials. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of the implications of these findings on clinical and public health practice.

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