PhD defence - Markos Tesfaye Woldeyohannes

Markos Tesfaye Woldeyohannes is defending his PhD thesis

Quality of life among people living with HIV in Jimma, Ethiopia: the role of mental health, food, and nutrition


7 March 2017, 13:00


Festauditoriet 1-01, Bülowsvej 17, 1870 Frederiksberg


Associate Professor Lotte Lauritzen (chair), Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Professor Lars Jacobsson, Psychiatric Clinic, Umea University Hospital, Umea, Sweden

Professor Alex Cohen, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, Department of Population Health, LSHTM, London


Professor Henrik Friis, Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Co supervisors

Professor Lotte Holm, Department of Food and Resource Economics, Section for Consumption, Bioethics and Governance, SCIENCE

Dr. Charlotte Hanlon, Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences, King’s College London, London, UK

About the thesis

The availability of antiretroviral treatment in Africa has greatly increased the life expectancy of people living with HIV (PLHIV). However, PLHIV who live in Africa face various social, economic, and health-related challenges that affect their quality of life. Food insecurity and mental health problems, both of which are common among PLHIV in Africa, can be detrimental to quality of life.

This research undertaking aimed to investigate the roles of mental health and food insecurity on quality of life of PLHIV in Ethiopia, and to determine whether supplementation with lipid-based nutrient supplements (LNS) during initiation of antiretroviral medications has effects on quality of life.

In this PhD thesis, food insecurity and poor mental health had independent association with lower quality of life among PLHIV. Furthermore, supplementation with LNS during the first three months of initiation of antiretroviral medications improved the quality of life of PLHIV. Our study participants had only mild or no undernutrition at the entry point into the trial means. Hence, the beneficial effect of LNS given to PLHIV on quality of life extends beyond those who have malnutrition.

2017, 86 pages, ISBN 978 87 93476 82 0