Living with HIV made easier

Living with HIV isn’t easy. What with the prospect of a premature death looming large, the HIV patient is always apprehensive. However, you should know that you can live a normal lifespan with a religiously followed disciplined lifestyle.

Once diagnosed with HIV, you should start the antiretroviral treatment (ART) as early as possible for a better outcome.

It is vital that you sustain the therapy religiously as part of your everyday routine. Living with the HIV infection and fighting it becomes easy.

The treatment and proper care tips described below will help you live long and give you a normal lifespan; you can expect to live life as you would without the infection.

It will also help you sail through the stages of the HIV symptoms easily by keeping them at a milder degree.

Effective treatment also significantly reduces the risk of transmitting the infection to others.

There is no remedy to cure HIV infection and AIDS. What the treatment does is keep the virus under control, meaning keeping the viral load low thus helping to improve the immune system.

There are alternative remedies that complement your HIV treatment. Certain lifestyle habits that your doctor may advise, help to increase your immunity, which is very necessary for an HIV-positive person. HIV counseling will make you strong mentally and help reduce your stress.

Regularly follow up with your physician to monitor your response to HIV treatment, tackle any side effects of the ART drugs, and look for any drug interactions with other drugs you may be taking. These are the dos and don’ts which an HIV/AIDS patient must religiously follow.

Besides, depending on your doctor to treat you for HIV/AIDS with medicines and drugs belonging to Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART), there is always something you can do to contribute positively to the treatment.

You must improve your lifestyle habits and try out some home remedies.

Living with HIV – Important tips

The following tips act as guidelines for your life after you have learned that you are HIV positive. Follow them and your normal lifespan becomes a reality.

Adhere to treatment

Religiously take your HIV medicines every day without any irregularities. Visit your healthcare provider and get yourself tested periodically to monitor how well your ART drugs are working.

Eat healthy foods

Incorporate in your diet, fresh fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, whole grains, and lean proteins. Eat food that is properly cooked. Do not eat raw or rare cooked food. Eating healthy foods will help you in two ways:

  • Your immune system depends on your nutrition. Eating healthy will keep your immune system healthy, thus preventing any other infection from affecting you.
  • It will keep you strong and prevent weakness. This will allow you to move around, thereby keeping you from getting depressed. Depression is one of the common symptoms of HIV/AIDS.

Get immunized

Getting immunized will prevent infections like flu and pneumonia, which can be problematic in people with compromised immunity caused by HIV infection.

Avoid live vaccines, which can be dangerous in the presence of a weakened immune system.

Get proper sleep

Proper sleep builds up your mental setup. Not getting enough sleep can weaken your immune system.

Regular exercise

Regular exercise is like a wonder drug. It keeps you fighting fit both mentally and physically. It gives you a good appetite and keeps other infections away by strengthening your immune system. Yoga would be ideal as it helps to improve immunity, fight stress and increase all round fitness.

Practice safe sex

Use a new condom when you have sex. This is to protect your partner from getting HIV infection.

Getting tested

It is commonly seen that people with HIV infection also have other STD infections. Once your HIV has been confirmed, you must get yourself tested for other sexually transmitted infections as well and get them promptly treated.

Keep clean

Always maintain good hygiene. An HIV-positive person is prone to other infections, which can be airborne or can spread through contaminated food and water.

Wash your hands with soap every time you use your hands to eat or come from the bathroom. Avoid crowded places to prevent airborne diseases.

Drink filtered water and eat at clean places. Keep your fingernails trimmed and clean.

Wounds

Any wound, cut, or sore should be medically attended to without delay.

Manage stress

An HIV-positive person is under constant stress. Stress can cause many health issues and even adversely affect your immune system.

Managing stress, therefore, becomes important. Meditation can be a good solution as it increases your stress threshold.

Communicate

You must take your partner into confidence and inform him/her about your status. This way, your partner also helps you with maintaining your healthy ways.

Inform your needle-sharing partners too, and get them to test themselves. This will be a great contribution to the community at large.

What to avoid:

AVOID

  • recreational drugs like heroin, tobacco, cannabis, and alcohol. These substances weaken your immune system and treatments become less effective.
  • crowded places.
  • raw food, especially raw eggs.
  • contact with animals, even pets, as cerebral toxoplasmosis is a complication of AIDS, and the parasite comes from pets, especially cat feces. Pet reptiles can give you salmonella.

All the above effective tips are documented and will make living with HIV/AIDS easier and not such a bad experience. Remember, with HIV, the person is very much apprehensive of early death. These measures ensure you a normal lifespan.