AIDS is caused by human immune deficiency virus (HIV). The virus damages the immune system by interrupting the ability of the body to fight infection. The affected person becomes more vulnerable to disease. Individuals that are affected with HIV can acquire AIDS, but not all individuals infected with HIV have AIDS. Living with AIDS involves organizing oneself from physical as well as practical aspects of life.
Many people think that just because they have HIV or AIDS diagnosis it means their life is over. It is now possible for people with the virus to live to age with the general population. Many people with HIV or AIDS are living long, healthy lives. So here are five tips that will help people with HIV to live long, healthy, and enjoyable lives.
1. Don’t worry so much and find a counselor
There are a lot of emotions from having HIV. These emotions can include stress, depression, or anxiety. These emotions are hard for just about any person to overcome, so it is best for people to socialize and find help. There are a lot of negative emotions that AIDS patients deal with. Thus experts say that it is best not to worry and be so concerned. Patients are advised to look at the situation with a positive attitude which helps combat negative emotions. Best to seek a counselor for professional guidance and support. They can help you navigate any emotional problems, as well as provide much-needed advice.
Myths and fears about the deadly virus and the disease can be overcome by consulting a doctor. Currently, there is no scripted cure for the virus, but there are drugs that keep the growth of the virus in check.
2. Have a healthy diet and exercise
Many people in general benefit from a high-fiber diet. People with HIV benefit even more because HIV affects T cells. There are a lot of T cells within a person’s stomach, so HIV attacks the T cells which leads to gastrointestinal problems. So maintaining a healthy GI tract is very important for the absorption of antiretroviral medication. Some medications need to be taken with food to ensure proper absorption.
Diet of the infected person should not include excess sugar, salt, or fat. One needs to keep themselves physically agile and active. The virus causes loss of muscle mass and strength. Exercises build muscles, make bones strong, burn fat, and keep the heart healthy.
There are three categories of exercises
Cardiovascular Exercise: jogging, running, swimming or dancing. These exercises keep the lungs and heart healthy, supply oxygen to the muscles, and provide a general happy-feel to the mind.
Resistance Training: Exercises with weights help build muscles. Lifting even a small can of beans, with the right tactics, is sufficient.
Stretches: This improves the flexibility of muscles, and deep breathing exercises provide elasticity to the lungs, spinal cord, and joints of the body.
3. Believe in yourself
Now this may sound obvious, but not many people do believe in themselves. If you put faith into yourself, it will increase the chance to live longer. If you don’t believe in yourself, then no one will and your overall happiness will lessen. So start developing good habits and put trust and faith into yourself. Connect with other fellow HIV patients and talk about life. It is a good way to get to know people and make some friends.
An AIDS diagnosis usually comes as a shock and it takes a lot of time to come to terms with it. But one can concentrate on another aspect of life, find new goals, and straighten out other priorities. AIDS should not stop a person from going after their goals and dreams.
AIDS does not spread by food and water. It does not spread by sharing food or utensils with the infected person. HIV or AIDS does not spread through touching, shaking hands, or hugging. There is no need to distance one's self from an infected person.
4. Take vitamins
Many doctors want just about anybody to take vitamins. Vitamins help supplement the diet, but people with HIV can benefit from selenium, which boosts immunity in people with HIV. Vitamin D and calcium are also good supplements to take when fighting HIV. However, the down side to vitamins is that it can have a reverse effect on antiretroviral treatment. So it is best to talk to your doctor for proper guidance.
One should augment qualitative nutritional intake, especially vitamin supplements. This simple trick has the potential of being a low-cost method in building the immune system. Studies reveal that low levels of vitamin A are associated with high risk of HIV transmission from a mother to child.
5. Don’t do drugs, alcohol, or smoke
Drugs and alcohol can lead to depression, making the whole situation worse. It is best to just live healthily and avoid all negative things. These are not just beneficial for people with HIV but also for anyone. Drugs, alcohol, and smoking all have negative side effects and should be avoided by anyone.
Drugs, alcohol, and smoking affect the quality of life and make it difficult to fight the infection. These elements pollute the body and pull down the capacity to absorb nutrition. Thus all three have a negative impact on the treatment of AIDS.
The bottom line
If you use common sense and try to live healthy, everything should be fine. Always manage physical and emotional health. Just because someone has HIV does not mean that their life is limited. People with HIV and AIDS can live healthy and productive lives. They can manage and control the virus with proper medication and treatment.
Currently, there is no documented cure for AIDS, but the treatment has evolved tremendously, improving the general health of the patient. Getting treated not only improves the quality of remnant life, but also extends life expectation and reduces the threat of transmission. Taking timely medicine and supplements help slow down the progression of HIV and protect the immune system. It will help patients live normal healthy lives for years.
The common s about AIDS has been diminishing, getting diagnosed can be distressing and make a person feel anxious and depressed. In such a case seek medical counsel immediately.