The global rise in food prices is forcing people in Ethiopia to give up such nutritional staples as vegetables and eggs, compromising a healthy diet. However, for people living with HIV in the country, poor nutrition may create an even greater risk, PlusNews reports (, 6/23).

“ART [antiretroviral treatment] can’t work if people aren’t eating enough; this is where food prices impact more strongly on [positive people],” United Nations World Food Program (WFP) coordinator Gideon Cohen told PlusNews. Food prices in the sub-Saharan African country have risen 40 percent in the past year.

According to the article, a lack of food—coupled with a severe and ongoing drought—has rendered many HIV-positive Ethiopians too weak to work and support their families. Nearly 8 percent of the country’s urban population is living with the virus.