Living With HIV
1. Have a healthy and balanced diet
A diet that consists of a variety of foods rich in nutrients can help provide the energy and nutrition you need to boost your immune system and fight the infection. If you experience reduced appetite due to mouth sores, nausea, taste changes, or fatigue, you could try different healthful foods that appeal to you and eat smaller meals more often – when you feel like eating.
2. Make sure your food and drinks are clean and safe
As HIV affects the immune system and hence the body’s resistance to infections, it is important for you to make sure that your meals and drinks are prepared properly to avoid food poisoning.
3. Maintain a healthy weight
For reasons yet unclear, a person living with HIV expends more energy, especially when her immune system is increasingly compromised. So, if you consume less energy, then your body may turn to its fat and protein stores for energy. Hence, it is vital for you to keep your weight within a healthy range.
As your body recovers after going on treatment (highly-active antiretroviral therapy), you may regain your weight easily. When that happens, consult your healthcare provider on how to manage your weight with a healthy diet. Being overweight and obese might put you at risk for other health problems like cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
4. Take good care of yourself
Stress can affect your immune system, so do take time to relax and enjoy life with close friends and family. Practice good personal hygiene, try quitting smoking, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
When you feel up to it, doing an regular exercise you enjoy can increase your strength and give you energy to work and play. If you have doubts, talk to your healthcare provider about them before you start.