Being HIV positive should not prevent you from living a healthy life. With proper care and treatment, you can lead a normal and long life as someone who does not have the infection.
Living positive requires that you take good care of yourself and extra precautions to ensure you protect your Immune system, like preventing STDs and other opportunistic infections.
In this post, you will learn how you can practice healthy living to manage HIV and stay healthy effectively.
Starting the antiretroviral treatment for HIV.
The first step towards taking care of yourself once you are diagnosed with HIV is to start treatment as soon as possible. Though there is still no cure for HIV, antiretroviral treatment will help keep the Virus controlled and boost your immune system.
Once you are put on treatment, the secret to staying healthy is to take your doses daily at the same time as prescribed. Taking doses at different times each day or skipping at all will stop the treatment from defending your immune system.
In case you are experiencing persistent side effects which are interfering with the quality of your life, then you should be switched to a different treatment method as advised by your doctor.
Nutrition is a significant consideration for anyone who wants to lead a healthy lifestyle regardless of their HIV status. However, it is more critical for an HIV-positive person.
Drinking enough water and eating a balanced diet free from too much sugar, salt, or processed fats will help pick up the treatment and fight opportunistic infections.
Consult your healthcare provider about your diet if you may be having the following conditions
Obesity or overweight.
If you are underweight.
If you have any dietary complications or any side effect that makes it difficult to eat well.
Avoid too much alcohol and drug use.
As an HIV-positive person, excessive alcohol and drug use can lead to a stunted response to treatment by weakening your immune system. For instance, alcohol intake may damage your liver- an organ that the body uses to process the drugs.
Some HIV treatment regimens may react with recreational drugs and alcohol to cause adverse side effects, which can be severe. Additionally, being under the influence of drugs and alcohol may stop you from taking your medications regularly.
Suppose you are worried about your drug and alcohol use. In that case, you can reach out to a healthcare professional for appropriate care and support.
Getting support and managing stress.
Taking care of your emotional wellbeing and mental health is as good as looking after your physical body.
Being diagnosed with HIV can be traumatizing, and you can take time to come to terms with the reality. Talking to your family and friends and people with similar status can help you adjust.
Reach out for peer mentoring or services that offer support and training about staying positive with your status.
Once you have adjusted, think about yourself, your goals, ambitions, and everything you want in life, whether it is family, study, or you want to travel. Never let HIV stop you from living the life you desire for.
Regardless of the HIV status, staying active and strong is a component of healthy living for everyone. Exercise keeps your bones strong, builds muscles, burns fat, and keeps your heart-healthy.
Regular exercise also prevents feelings of stress and signs of depressions. Some HIV-positive people lose mass and weight; staying active helps in preventing this.
Practice safe sex.
Safe sex is essential to everyone, but it is much more crucial to HIV-positive persons. Know how the Virus is transmitted to limit the risk of infecting others.
Use protection to protect others and protect yourself from getting other STDs and other infections that might reduce your immune system.
Prevent infections and other illnesses.
Because HIV reduces the strength of your immune system, you become vulnerable to every bacteria, Virus, or germs you get exposed to.
Stay away from the sick and frequently wash your hands to remain as healthy as possible. Furthermore, stay updated with your vaccines to minimize the risks of preventable diseases.
Get other STDs test.
If it happens that you have other STDs, you are likely to transmit both the STD and HIV to your partner. Also, having other STDs can lead to the rapid development of the Virus in your body by reducing the treatment response to your body.
Address the STD as fast as possible since being HIV positive can make their treatment complicated. STD tests are a must as many of them do not show symptoms, and you cannot detect them without full STD screening.
The secret of living well with HIV is under your control. Fuel your immune system with a healthy and balanced diet. Take your medications regularly at the same time daily as prescribed.
Avoid excessive alcohol and drug use, get enough sleep each night and keep checking your emotional and mental wellbeing. Do not let HIV status deprive you of your desired lifestyle. Take control of your life normally.
Happy, positive living.