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Reliable access to safe and acceptable water in sufficient quantities (i.e., water security) is important for medication adherence and limiting pathogen exposure, yet prior studies have only considered the role of food security as a social determinant of HIV-related health. Therefore, the objective of this analysis was to assess the relationships between household water insecurity and HIV-related outcomes among adults living with HIV in western Kenya (N = 716). We conducted a cross-sectional analysis of baseline data from Shamba Maisha (NCT02815579), a cluster randomized controlled trial of a multisectoral agricultural and asset loan intervention. Baseline data were collected from June 2016 to December 2017. We assessed associations between water insecurity and HIV-related outcomes, adjusting for clinical and behavioral confounders, including food insecurity. Each five-unit higher household water insecurity score (range: 0–51) was associated with 1.21 higher odds of having a viral load ≥ 1000 copies/mL (95% CI 1.07, 1.36) and 1.26 higher odds of AIDS-defining illness (95% CI 1.11, 1.42). Household water insecurity was not associated with CD4 cell count (B: 0.27; 95% CI −3.59, 13.05). HIV treatment and support programs should consider assessing and addressing water insecurity in addition to food insecurity to optimize HIV outcomes.

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© The Author(s) 2021

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APA Citation

Nagata, J. M., Miller, J. D., Cohen, C. R., Frongillo, E. A., Weke, E., Burger, R., Wekesa, P., Sheira, L. A., Mocello, A. R., Otieno, P., Butler, L. M., Bukusi, E. A., Weiser, S. D., & Young, S. L. (2021). Water insecurity is associated with lack of viral suppression and greater odds of AIDS-defining illnesses among adults with HIV in western Kenya. AIDS and Behavior, 26(2), 549–555.