for people ages 18 years and up (full criteria)
study started
estimated completion
Sheri Weiser (ucsf)



UCSF and Project Open Hand (POH), a community based organization in San Francisco which provides meals and groceries to chronically ill clients in the Bay Area, have partnered to conduct an initial randomized controlled trial (RCT) of the Changing Health through Food Support (CHEFS) pilot intervention implemented by POH. The intervention consists of providing comprehensive, medically-appropriate food support, individual nutritional counseling, and group-based nutritional education over 6 months to low-income clients who have been diagnosed with HIV in order to improve their viral load and health-related quality of life (primary outcomes) as well as depression, ART adherence, food security and diet quality (secondary outcomes). We will randomize 200 participants to the intervention (n=100) or control (n=100). Participants will be followed for 6 months. The investigators will assess outcomes at baseline and 6-month follow-up using a quantitative survey and blood draws. In addition, the investigators will conduct a qualitative study at follow-up in a subset of participants to understand perceived impacts, barriers and facilitators.

Official Title

Changing Health Through Food Support (CHEFS): Pilot RCT to Identify Potential Health Impacts of Providing Comprehensive, Medically-appropriate Food Support to Low-income Urban Adults Living With HIV (PLHIV)


HIV/AIDS food insecurity community-based food assistance food support intervention medically tailored nutrition Medically-appropriate meals and groceries


You can join if…

Open to people ages 18 years and up

  • HIV positive
  • Income at or below 200% FPL (~$2400/month)
  • 30-50% minimum POH regular program adherence level (i.e. regular service access rate)
  • Are willing and able to eat food from POH based on one of POH's regularly available diet choices (including regular, non-dairy, vegetarian, vegetarian non-dairy,diabetic, and bland), excluding the renal diet.
  • Have access to a refrigerator or freezer with sufficient space to store perishable food provided by POH, and have access to an appliance to reheat food.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Do not speak Spanish or English
  • Do not have adequate cognitive or hearing capacity to complete interviews
  • Have a history of violent behavior at POH (such as verbal or physical abuse to other clients and/or staff)
  • Have renal disease requiring a special renal diet
  • Have severe food allergies
  • Currently pregnant or <6 months post-partum
  • Unable to complete an interview due to a health condition
  • Unable or unwilling to eat food from POH (based on one of POH's regularly available diet choices)
  • Among people who share a household (such as partners, family members, or roommates),only one may be involved in the study.

Lead Scientist

  • Sheri Weiser (ucsf)
    Sheri Weiser, MD, MPH, MA, is an Associate Professor of Medicine and internist at UC San Francisco’s Division of HIV, Infectious Diseases and Global Medicine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital. Her research focuses on the impact of food insecurity and other social and structural factors on treatment outcomes for HIV and other chronic diseases.


in progress, not accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Francisco
Study Type
Last Updated