How to Live Healthy with HIV/AIDS: Beyond Just Taking Your Meds

How to Live Healthy with HIV/AIDS: Beyond Just Taking Your Meds

We’ve come a long way in improving the quality of life for somebody who has been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. In many cases, people can reach a viral load so low it is known as “undetectable” with the help of modern medicine. It is important to develop a good rapport with your healthcare providers and keep an eye on your health.  If you’re feeling ill, don’t wait to go to the doctor.  These preventative measures should also help you stay healthy!


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Eat a Balanced Diet

We know. With a fast food joint on every corner and GrubHub at your hands, it’s easy to eat junk. However, if you eat garbage, there’s a good chance you’re going to feel that way, too. Foods rich in unhealthy fats, refined carbs, and artificial sugars are hard for your system to break down. In turn, you may end up growing inflammation in the gut. Long-term inflammation can be a precursor to autoimmune disease, further triggering symptoms of HIV/AIDS.


Make sure you are eating plenty of lean proteins such as free-range poultry, fish, and legumes. Also, eat a healthy portion of complex carbohydrates like dark greens and sweet potatoes. 


Lastly, make sure to eat a variety of colors. Each color has different vitamins and minerals, including antioxidants!


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Stay Up to Date with Your Cell Count

Don’t take for granted the fact that you feel well. In life, there’s always a calm before the storm. Putting your head under the sand only opens the door for more problems down the road.


You want to have a CD4 count over 500. If you are newly diagnosed, be sure that count is stable every couple of months. Eventually, you can work your way up to checking once a year. 


You know your body better than anyone else. If within that year you notice differences in how you feel, get your CD4 count checked. It’s better to be safe than to be sorry.


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Get Up and Exercise

Your body relies on movement to help build strength. This is essential to do when you have HIV/AIDS because a lot of patients tend to lose muscle mass. Get up and exercise so that you are strong, just in case your health happens to take a turn for the worse. 


In addition, exercise helps improve your mood. Facing a potentially life-threatening condition can cause you to go into a slump, further hindering your quality of life. Reclaim your best years by getting in at least 30 minutes of exercise a few times per week. 


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Cut Out Toxins

Your body is going through enough. Don’t overindulge with tobacco, pharmaceuticals, or excessive alcohol. Adding these to your body will only weaken your immune system. In the end, you will be more susceptible to the symptoms of  HIV/AIDS.

While you cut out toxins, get rid of one of the most potent one–stress. Stress will only make the time you have left on this earth unenjoyable. Not to mention, it’s bad for your health. Remove yourself from stressful situations, do fewer things that make you unhappy, and cut the negative people out of your life. 


In these moments, turn to your support system. You know who you can lean on. Remember, you are not alone in this battle.


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