HIV NUTRITION PROGRAM
San Ysidro Health Center
All Greater Good helped fund San Ysidro Health Center’s (SYHC) HIV nutrition program Come Bien-Vive Bien. An innovative component of SYHC’s HIV services, the primary goal of Come Bien-Vive Bien program is to educate, advocate and promote nutrition education among HIV-positive and HIV affected Latino/as.
The Come Bien-Vive Bien workshops use a curriculum created by SYHC’s HIV Nutrition Counselor, Karla Torres, to teach the importance of nutrition in maintaining good health for HIV positive persons, with an emphasis on the healthy use of traditional Latino foods. The curriculum incorporates the US Dietary Guidelines and provides education on the importance of fruit and vegetable consumption. With its focus on replacing animal fats with options such as canola and olive oils and recognition of the positive value of traditional vegetables such as tomatoes, cilantro, onions and peppers, the Come Bien-Vive Bien curriculum uses hands-on demonstration workshops to teach healthier eating and cooking skills.
The Come Bien-Vive Bien program has been vital to improving access to culturally proficient nutritional education among HIV-positive Latino/as. It has also encouraged community participation in health education, with 14 peer advocates graduating from the program over the last two years. These peer advocates are certified in the Come Bien-Vive Bien program as Nutrition Promotores (NPs).
The program targets low-income, Latino/a HIV-positive or HIV affected individuals (caregivers and/or family members of HIV-positive individuals).
Given the low income level of SYHC’s HIV-positive patients, the expanded Come Bien-Vive Bien program has been very useful to individuals who receive or are eligible for food-stamps. The program’s curriculum is designed with this in mind, and has been particularly effective in teaching people how to eat well on a very limited income, with familiar foodstuffs that are locally available.
We invite you to visit the San Ysidro Health Center to learn more about what SYHC is doing in their community.