Micronutrients reduce morbidity and slow the rate of disease progression and thus, micronutrient supplementation in HIV is recommended. This study established the level of uptake of micronutrient supplements among people living with HIV in Kayole, Nairobi County. A cross-sectional analytical design was adopted on a comprehensive sample of 153 adults living with HIV, enrolled at Comprehensive Care Centre in Kayole Health Centre. Data is described by use of percentages while relationships are assessed using chi-square. Qualitative data from focus group discussions and key informants was transcribed and analyzed to complement the quantitative findings. Results showed that only 13.7% of the respondents were on micronutrients at the time of the study. The micronutrient supplements commonly supplemented were vitamin and mineral mix (50.3%), zinc (34%), vitamin B6 (24.2%), vitamin A (24.2%), folate (12.4%), and iron (15%). The main reason for supplementation was; those on Antiretroviral Therapy (66.7%), due to the presence of opportunistic infections (40.5%), those who had no appetite (28.1%), underweight cases (21.6%) and those on tuberculosis treatment (17.0%). The main reason for low uptake was due to stock outs at treatment centre (24.8%), the high cost of supplements (13.7%) and side effects after intake (5.9%). Adults living with HIV are aware of the importance of micronutrients and had taken micronutrient supplements at one point during the treatment period. However, uptake at the time of the study was low. This was due to lack of guidelines for supplementation, high cost of supplements, stock-outs in health facilities and side effects. This study recommends proper education and sensitization on supplementation. Standard guidelines and policies for micronutrient supplementation should be developed. A pull system should be adapted in the supply of supplements.
Key words: Micronutrients, supplementation, people living with HIV, Kenya, adults.
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