June 27th is National HIV Testing Day, observed each year to raise awareness about the importance of HIV testing and early diagnosis of HIV. The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care, and that all pregnant women get tested for HIV.
Encouraging women to get tested for HIV/AIDS is an important element of WIC’s role as an adjunct to good healthcare and helps to fulfill WIC’s mission to safeguard the health of the women, infants and children WIC serves. If women are tested early in their pregnancy, those who are infected can be given therapy to improve their own health and reduce the risk of transmitting HIV to the baby.
For participants who have been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, staff can provide important information and education on nutrition and food safety, as well as referrals to health care and social services. The US Department of Veterans Affairs provides a guide for Diet and Nutrition for People with HIV, offering information including tips for maintaining appetite and food safety.
A healthy diet for pregnant women with HIV includes eating a variety of foods from the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy -- all foods that WIC food packages provide.
Looking for ways to help your families incorporate foods found in the WIC food packages into their diets? Share these easy to prepare recipes found on the WIC Meals of the Month pages.
Looking for digital tools to help participants? Check out MyPlate.gov.
In the United States, the AAP and CDC recommend that HIV-positive mothers should not breastfeed their infants. This is especially important to convey to recent immigrants and refugees from developing nations, as the recommendations are different in developing countries due to the lack of available clean water to prepare infant formula and other sanitation problems.
HIV.gov offers locator tools and treatment information, such as:
- A locator for Testing Sites and Care Services
- HIV Basics that includes information such as finding an HIV Care Provider and HIV Treatment Overview
The CDC HIV page, also available in Spanish, provides a wealth of information about and resources for prevention and transmission, downloadable fact sheets that provide data about how HIV affects specific populations, information about risk behaviors, prevention tools and testing, and much more.
Find more information and resources related to HIV/AIDS on the WIC Works Resource System by searching “HIV”. Staff will find collection pages such as HIV Among Pregnant Women, Infants and Children and AIDS Info - HIV & Pregnancy, as well as other resources that include HIV as a topic, such as the WIC Infant Nutrition and Feeding Guide and WIC Breastfeeding Policy & Guidance.