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HIV-positive and healthy

While there is still no cure for HIV, keeping yourself healthy through proper diet, exercise and lifestyle choices is even more important if you have the virus, and can improve the length and quality of your life.

Some medications used to treat HIV can take a toll on your body, and deplete it of much-needed nutrients, minerals; some of the HIV meds can take away your appetite. Complimentary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, and even marijuana have been found to help in relieving some side effects of HIV medication. Speak to your doctor about adding these therapies to your current drug treatment. Don’t self-medicate. Stress has also been shown to negatively impact the functioning on the immune system in people. Lower your stress level! Given an already compromised system, HIV positive guys need to be even more vigilant in lowering stress in their lives.

Being up-to-date on HIV/AIDS/STI information, treatment and transmission can mean the difference between living with HIV and living well with HIV. There are improvements made almost daily to HIV treatment and it’s beneficial for you to be well appraised and knowledgeable. Not being consistent with your anti-HIV drug treatment can have a detrimental effect on your health. Although people are living longer and healthier with HIV, inconsistency or “drug vacations” can potentially set your treatment back, which can leave you susceptible to getting sick.

Keep appraised of your CD4 count and viral load status. Your HIV viral load can change without you even knowing it, and some HIV positive guys only realize they’ve had a low CD4 count once they’ve gotten sick with opportunistic infections. If caught earlier, you and your doctor can make changes to your treatment to improve the situation. New anti-HIV drug treatment options have, in some cases, greatly reduced the amount of virus levels in the blood to near undetectable levels. A low viral load reduces the potential for the degradation of CD4 cells in your body, and makes it more difficult for resistant mutations of the virus to form.

Because of a more compromised immune system it is important for people living with HIV to be extra vigilant and practice good hygiene for the sake of your own health and well-being. A short-term flu bug for some could be a potential case of pneumonia for a person with HIV.

Practicing safer sex with partners regardless of their HIV status improves the likelyhood of a more successful treatment. Co-infection with other STIs such as Chlamydia and gonorrhoea, and getting treated can have an impact on your current HIV treatment plan. Re-infection with other, resistant strains of HIV also poses a risk.

Exercise, healthy eating choices, consistent drug treatment plans, safer sex practices, and meeting regularly with your doctor all increase your chance at living a longer, healthier life with HIV.

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