A positive HIV diagnosis is no longer a death sentence. With the right medication and healthcare plan, many HIV positive patients can live long and productive lives. Here are a few tips on how to keep yourself healthy so you can live your best life.
Take Your Medicine Regularly, And On Time
While there is no cure for HIV, antiretrovirals (ARVs) are incredibly effective at keeping your symptoms in check and preventing the virus’s progression. ARVs are most effective when taken as instructed by your doctor, at the same times every day. Skipping your ARVs is dangerous for you and your sexual partner. Missing a dose gives the virus a chance to replicate and increase your viral load, which means your partner is more likely to be infected, and you’re more likely to show symptoms.
Making sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs means you’re less likely to get infected with common diseases like the flu because healthy food boosts your immune system. Eat foods high in vitamins and minerals like brightly coloured vegetables, fruits and offal. Drink plenty of water and try to stay away from sugar and fast food.
Certain activities, like smoking and drinking alcohol, put stress on your immune system and organs. When you drink alcohol, your liver is forced to work overtime. In HIV positive people, the liver is already under stress because of the virus and the ARV’s, so drinking too much alcohol increases your risk of liver damage. Smoking also weakens your immune system and increases your chances of getting throat and lung cancer or suffering from a stroke.
Exercise has many benefits; improved sleeping patterns, stronger heart, lungs and bones, and increased energy levels. For HIV positive people, regular exercise can help some of the symptoms of HIV, including high cholesterol and blood sugar, as well as maintaining a healthy weight.
Build A Strong Support System
Being HIV positive can be emotionally difficult. Some people still stigmatise those with HIV, which can leave you feeling lonely. It’s essential to surround yourself with supportive family and friends who will encourage you to stay healthy and support you through your diagnosis.