San Francisco's urban poor living with HIV lacking access to food of sufficient quality and quantity are significantly more likely to visit emergency departments (EDs) and to be hospitalized, according to a study published in the August 22 issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine (JGIM) and highlighted in a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), news announcement. Compared with food-secure participants, those classified as being food-insecure were two times more likely to be hospitalized or visit EDs over the study's two-year follow-up period. One factor potentially contributing to food insecurity, the researchers explained, is lack of adequate housing—approximately 10 percent of the study participants had a recent experience of homelessness and many were residing in single-room occupancy hotels without kitchen facilities. Another likely problem: Less than a fifth of the participants had received federal food assistance through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), indicating that people at risk of food insecurity may need assistance completing SNAP enrollment procedures.

To read the JGIM article (paid subscription required), click here.
To read the UCSF news announcement, click here.